Improving equity: Health centers focus vaccination efforts on low-income communities

Federally qualified health centers have always catered to those least able to afford health care. Now they're on the front line of vaccination efforts.

In an effort to improve access to the coronavirus vaccine, state health leaders announced they are sending special shipments to 41 federally qualified health centers (FQHC) throughout Michigan.

FQHCs are typically community-focused health clinics located in poorer urban and rural areas. Their goal is to provide health care to people without access to it.

Kalamazoo has one FQHC – the Family Health Center, which has facilities in the city’s Northside and Edison neighborhoods. State records show the health center has received 300 doses of the Moderna vaccine so far, though there is no data on how many doses they’ve administered.

State officials say they have distributed more than 13,000 doses to FQHCs across the state in 100 to 300 dose batches. The health centers are expected to reach out to people age 65 and older who might not otherwise have access to the vaccine. That includes people without transportation or internet access.

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