Get a haircut and a shot. That’s the idea behind a unique program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations at neighborhood barbershops and hair salons in Maryland.
Luminis Health is proud to partner with the Health Advocates in Research (HAIR) project of the University of Maryland School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity to give shots at a trusted place. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear why trust matters, so why not go where people already have trust—the local barbershop,” said Stephen B. Thomas, professor and director of the Center for Health Equity in the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park.
COVID-19 vaccination clinics have taken place at two salons in Prince George’s County, an area hit hard with COVID-19 infections during the pandemic. African American and Hispanic Marylanders have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, yet are less likely to be vaccinated. In Prince George’s County, only 42% of residents are fully vaccinated.
“The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” said Deneen Richmond, president of Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center. “If we want to reach community immunity, we must vaccinate as many people as possible. Barber shops and salons are a great way to meet people where they are.”
Before administering COVID-19 shots, members of the Community Health Team answer questions, address concerns, and clear up myths about the vaccine. Since January, Luminis Health has administered more than 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.
“Our vision is Living Healthier Together,” said Deneen. “Community partnerships are a vital component to enhance the health of the people we serve. Thank you to Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, barbers, hair stylists, and our Community Health Team for your hard-work and dedication as we work together to end this pandemic.”