Ecclesiastical District of Los Angeles County helps promote, facilitate vaccination vs Covid-19
By EVA BASALLAJE and RONNIE H. MUTYA
Date Posted: July 9, 2021
Prior to the full reopening of Los Angeles County and in consonance with the June 15 Reopening Day of the State of California in the US, the Church Of Christ in the Ecclesiastical District of Los Angeles County, conducted an Aid to Humanity event that helped promote, facilitate, and administer free Covid-19 vaccinations for the residents in various neighborhoods throughout L.A.
Led by Brother Jerwin D. Luar, district supervising minister, the socio-civic activity was made possible through the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, Inc. in collaboration with the County and City of Los Angeles, Mission Community Hospital, and FirstMed Ambulance Services. It was held at the parking lot and chapel compound of the Local Congregation of North Hollywood, California on May 14 and on June 4, 2021.
Whether or not they had scheduled appointments, the Los Angeles residents who came to the event received the vaccine. Many expressed hope to return to the normal way of life before the onset of the pandemic.
Nate Hart, business development vice-president of Mission Community Hospital, stated, “With our relationship with the Church Of Christ and FirstMed Ambulance, it started last year and when we got a full authorization to go full steam ahead to provide vaccinations, the Church helped facilitate the event and we came in with FirstMed Ambulance who travels through the city, transports people who are ill, and understands the compassion that we have.”
Kyle Carson, operations supervisor of FirstMed Ambulance Services, said, “When churches and other organizations, like the Church Of Christ, extended support in facilitating and administering, it really helps us to get more vaccinations done and allows us to reach herd immunity faster.”
The staff of Mission Community Hospital and FirstMed Ambulance Services, together with the licensed and professional nurses who are Church Of Christ members, volunteered to administer the free first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Those who drove in were vaccinated in their vehicles, while those who walked-in to avail of this much-needed free service were seated in the booths prepared and intended for the activity.
Jose Dominguez from Sylmar, Los Angeles, who was one of those vaccinated said, “I was just driving down the street when I saw the sign and I thought it was the right moment. I realized that I didn’t have to do any appointments here when I drove over this morning. Everybody here is being really nice to me. I love that. It’s a very positive energy. It’s a nice feeling. I do appreciate what the Church is doing and it makes me happy.”
Jessica Ramirez who lives in Panorama City, California, was one of those who availed of this free service. “It’s very helpful that the Church is doing this for the community. I know that it’s not easy finding appointments sometimes, and having the Church here helping the community out is very special,” she said.
During the last day of the event, a special acknowledgment was awarded by the County and City of Los Angeles government to the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) and the FYM Foundation, “in recognition of dedicated service to the affairs of the community and for the civic pride demonstrated by numerous contributions for the benefit of all the residents of Los Angeles County.”
Additional activities and services included the distribution of free bag, giveaways of bottled water, snacks and food, and personal protective equipment (PPE) care kits containing face masks, face shields, and hand sanitizers.