UPDATE: This article was updated on Friday, April 16 to reflect changes to the times and locations of the upcoming mobile vaccination clinics. A previously mentioned clinic at Mesa Verde Community Center has been removed from the vaccination clinic’s schedule.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some of the hardest groups of people to enroll in vaccination efforts are getting some help from the federal government. Over the next several weeks, mobile vaccination clinics organized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and an Albuquerque health clinic will be offering vaccinations in a series of neighborhoods across the city, including the Southwest Mesa and the International District.
FEMA’s so-called “Urban Mobile Vaccine Unit” started its efforts Monday with a vaccination clinic in the parking lot of the AMC Theater near Rio Bravo and Dennis Chavez Boulevard. That clinic will continue Friday and Saturday between the hours of 12 pm and 7 pm.
A local organization advocating for immigrant communities, the New Mexico Dream Team has helped spread the word about the clinics through social media posts. On a map detailing current and future clinics, the vaccination event is advertising itself by emphasizing free COVID vaccinations, availability of walk-up appointments, and no need for identification to obtain a vaccine.
“I think there are still people in our community that aren’t entirely sure that (vaccination) is going to be free,” said Eduardo Esquivel Gonzalez, co-director of the New Mexico Dream Team. “We have folks in our community that don’t have health insurance and are not even eligible to obtain health insurance, so for that to be in our own neighborhoods and say walk-ups are welcome, that is crucial.”
This week’s clinic at the AMC Theater is serving the 87121-zip code including the Westgate neighborhood. State data indicates the 87121-zip code has consistently charted some of the highest numbers of new COVID-19 cases over the last several months.
Next week, the mobile clinic will move to another of three future weekly clinic locations in Albuquerque, south of I-40. Each clinic is expected to take place between Monday and Saturday at locations including the Westside Community Center along Isleta, the Caesar Chavez Community Center at Kathryn and Louisiana, and the John Marshall Health and Social Center near I-25 and Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
An International District resident and organizer, Khadijah Bottom hopes that clinics will also help get a greater number of unhoused individuals to get vaccinated alongside economically disadvantaged residents.
“I tip my hat to the efforts,” Bottom said. “I feel like if you’re going to help and serve people or marginalized community, then you need to go to those communities.”
FEMA’s clinics are being operated alongside the New Mexico Department of Health and the Albuquerque-based health clinic “Casa de Salud.” Those clinics are also offering on-site language support for non-English speakers with hours between noon and seven. The clinics are taking place at the following locations and times:
- AMC Theater – 3810 Las Estancias Way SW – April 12 to April 17, 12 pm to 7 pm (Saturday 9am to 2pm.)
- Westside Community Center – 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW – April 19 to April 24, 12pm to 7pm (Saturday 9am to 2pm.)
- Caesar Chavez Community Center – 7505 Kathryn Ave. SE – April 26 to May 1, 12pm to 7pm (Saturday 9am to 2pm.)
- John Marshall Health & Social Services Center – 1500 Walter St. SE – May 10 to May 15, 12 pm to 7 pm (Saturday 9am to 2pm.)
- **NOTE: TIMES/LOCATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO POTENTIAL CHANGES OVER NEXT FEW WEEKS.