Pennsylvania Department of Health has partnered with Latino Connection and Highmark Blue Shield, to launch the first statewide COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Clinic tour to provide vaccinations and education targeting minority and underserved communities.

On Monday, the CATE Mobile Response Unit setup a pop up vaccine clinic in the Reading Parking Authority lot on South 5th Street to educate the public and administer vaccines to those who pre-registered.

“What started as a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 mobile testing and education initiative has shifted into overdrive with the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination tour,” George Fernandez, Founder and CEO of Latino Connection said.

“With more than 120 vaccination stops and 100 additional educational events on the agenda, these important resources will be accessible to people in nearly every region across Pennsylvania. We are doing what we know needs to be done, with the resources we have to win the war on COVID-19.”

Latino Connection’s mobile unit called CATE (Community-Accessible Testing & Education), which was used in fall 2020 for a mobile COVID-19 testing tour, is now equipped to administer vaccinations through approved medical professionals who will be on-site at each event. This is the first dedicated vaccine mobile clinic in the state of Pennsylvania.

“The residents of Reading have made their voices heard and want to get vaccinated,” said Mayor Morán. “I am deeply grateful to our partners such as Penn State Health, Highmark Blue Shield, Latino Connection and all who have made it possible to host CATE in our City. Working collaboratively, we have been able to combat resistance, skepticism and misinformation. We will continue working to make Reading a healthy and vibrant community.”

CATE will provide free COVID-19 vaccinations and education from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 20. Both events will take place in the open parking lot located at 31 South 5th Street, Reading, PA 19602.

“Even before COVID hit our nation and our world, we knew that certain populations struggled with access to health care”, said Jeanette Gibbs, senior vice president for ambulatory services, Penn State Health.

“Research has shown that our ZIP code plays a role in our life expectancy. Penn State Health has partnered with community organizations like Latino Connection to take this vaccine to churches, community centers and churches through 15 “pop up” clinics in underserved areas so far. We are proud to continue that work through this important initiative and help reduce at least one significant barrier to access for the Reading community.”

Those interested in receiving a vaccination from CATE can learn more at CATEmobileunit.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/CATEmobileunit. Services are available on a first come, first serve basis. Pre-registration is required and can be completed on the website. Social distancing and masking guidelines will be followed at all times.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit the Department of Health’s website, www.health.pa.gov.

This article is also available in: Español (Spanish)