BELOIT — The City of Beloit and community organizations are preparing to launch mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics for underserved people after the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) approved a statewide vaccine equity grant.

The city received the full request of $100,000 to provide additional vaccines to residents, and will be partnering with Community Action, Beloit Area Community Health and Meals on Wheels for hosting vaccine clinics in the Hackett and Merrill neighborhoods.

“The City of Beloit looks forward to being able to help get vaccines into the arms of residents throughout the community,” said City Manager Lori Curtis Luther. “We’ve demonstrated our ability to serve vulnerable populations and we look forward to helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The award is part of a $6.2 million grant program aimed at promoting health equity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

“This major investment to promote health equity in Wisconsin is essential to bounce back from the pandemic together,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. “Ongoing efforts to distribute the vaccine safely, efficiently, and equitably must include strategies to ensure that vaccines reach communities that face barriers to accessing medical care and people who may have a justifiable mistrust of the medical community and vaccines. We are excited that we can support our partners on the ground in their communities doing this work.”

In March, the Beloit Fire Department launched mobile vaccination clinics for homebound individuals and their caregivers.

The latest round of vaccination clinics will target underserved individuals. Further eligibility information was not available on Thursday, but details will be released in the coming weeks as the clinics take shape.

While details of the clinics remain limited, the city did acknowledge it would provide free City of Beloit Transit System (BTS) tokens to individuals unable to reach the stationed vaccine clinics. The clinics also will offer culturally competent vaccine communications to bilingual people and populations in which English is considered a second language.

Exact times, dates and locations of the planned clinics were not available as of Thursday afternoon.

As of Thursday, a total of 45,382 people in Rock County (27.8%) have received at least one vaccine dose. A total of 28,568 people in the county (17.5%) have completed vaccination, DHS data shows.

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