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Jackson’s MLK Center joins Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s effort to vaccinate city

The newly remodeled MLK Center is in the heart of Jackson’s south side, which is a predominately African American neighborhood.
COVID-19 vaccines will now be available every Thursday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation...
COVID-19 vaccines will now be available every Thursday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center. The newly remodeled MLK Center is in the heart of Jackson’s south side, which is a predominately African American neighborhood.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 9:17 AM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - The City of Jackson and Henry Ford Allegiance Health have started a partnership to offer vaccines at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.

COVID-19 vaccines will now be available every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the center for those who are eligible to receive vaccinations according to the latest State of Michigan guidelines.

The newly remodeled MLK Center is in the heart of Jackson’s south side, which is a predominately African American neighborhood.

Myeshia Jones, Director of Community Engagement with Henry Ford Allegiance Health, says the health system opened a vaccination site at the center to ensure people of color were included in vaccination efforts.

“The MLK Center is a trusted location in the community where we know black and brown people feel comfortable and safe coming to,” Jones said. “Equity is at the center of our work and this shows that our health system cares about our entire community.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is growing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Inequalities in the social elements of health, such as poverty and healthcare access, affecting these groups are interconnected and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. To attain health equity, the CDC says obstacles must be removed so everyone has a fair chance to be as healthy as possible.

It is a shot in the arm many Jackson residents, like Deborah Davis, have been waiting for.

“It’s a relief to get it,” Davis said after getting her COVID-19 vaccination at the Center. “I’m impressed with the operation here. It was smooth sailing.”

Jackson resident Ricky Hurst also got his COVID-19 vaccination at the first distribution event on Thursday. He says offering vaccines at the center will encourage people to get vaccinated.

“I think some people might be afraid to get the shot, but the more we show African Americans like me getting it, I believe more people in the community will be at ease,” Hurst said.

MLK Center Director Antonio Parker says he is thankful for this partnership with the health system.

“Seeing our neighbors come into the center to get vaccinated is a very powerful thing. The City is happy to provide this space for these front-line workers to help Jackson beat the virus,” Parker said.

Residents wanting to get vaccinated at the MLK Center can sign up through their health care provider. If they are an Allegiance Health patient, they can use the Henry Ford MyChart online platform. Walk-ins at the MLK Center vaccination site are welcome.

The MLK Center is located at 1107 Adrian St. and is reached by calling 517-788-4067.

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