Indian Americans host mass vaccination clinic in Aurora

  • Marco Barajas, Pharm. D, VNA clinical pharmacist and vaccination clinic lead, prepares a dose of the Pfizer vaccine during the Indian Vax Aurora event April 14.

    Marco Barajas, Pharm. D, VNA clinical pharmacist and vaccination clinic lead, prepares a dose of the Pfizer vaccine during the Indian Vax Aurora event April 14. Courtesy of VNA Health Care

 
 
Updated 4/22/2021 3:16 PM

As the largest community health center in suburban Chicago, VNA Health Care was happy to respond to the call for assistance from Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple leaders who were seeking to bring COVID-19 vaccination services to the Aurora community's South Asian and Southeast Asian residents and neighbors.

Since the onset of the distribution of vaccines, VNA has provided all immunization services in a series of vaccine equity events held in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois, and Indian Vax Aurora proved to be a timely way to honor the Hindu New Year and provide this essential service.

 

These equity-focused events have been presented in partnership with the City of Aurora and local coalitions representing the communities served.

A VNA registered nurse immunizes an individual against COVID-19 at the Indian Vax Aurora event Wednesday, April 14.
A VNA registered nurse immunizes an individual against COVID-19 at the Indian Vax Aurora event Wednesday, April 14. - Courtesy of VNA Health Care

Vaccines for these events have been provided by VNA and both Kane and DuPage County health departments.

"VNA Health Care is a community health center focused on decreasing health disparities and improving health equity. VNA Health Care physicians and nurse practitioners have provided ongoing medical care throughout the pandemic and have conducted over 31,000 COVID-19 tests. VNA staff have administered over 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far, and we were thrilled to vaccinate 750 more individuals at Indian Vax Aurora," said Linnea Windel, president and CEO of VNA Health Care.

As VNA nurse practitioners, nurses and support staff prepared to immunize guests at the former Carson Pirie Scott location at Fox Valley mall, a collaborative group of leaders from the City of Aurora's Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board and the Balaji Temple on Aurora's west side gathered to mark the opening of the event.

Aurora Alderwoman-Elect Shweta Baid
Aurora Alderwoman-Elect Shweta Baid
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Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi shared remarks via video as City of Aurora Alderwoman-Elect Shweta Baid; Windel; Dr. Venkata S. Musunuru, chairman of Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple; and Roopa Anjanappa, chairwoman of the Aurora Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board, marked the opening of the clinic.

The Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple, built in 1986 on 20 acres on Aurora's west side, is the spiritual home of thousands of Hindus, including Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi.
The Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple, built in 1986 on 20 acres on Aurora's west side, is the spiritual home of thousands of Hindus, including Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. - Courtesy of City of Aurora

"On behalf of the board of trustees and management of the Balaji temple, I extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to VNA and its management, City of Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irwin and staff Michael Pegue, Clayton Muhammad and Alderwoman Scheketa Hart-Burns and Alderwoman-Elect Shweta Baid for their support and participation in the Indian Vax program on April 15, 2021," said Dr. V Musunuru, chairman of Balaji Temple.

"It was a great joint effort to organize and reach out to various groups of people in the community. VNA is truly a Nightingalean order. Thanks to everybody who participated in protecting our communities against this terrible disease."

VNA continues to offer daily vaccination services within VNA Health Centers across the VNA service area, in addition to clinics at various community locations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

VNA Health Care is the largest Community Health Center in suburban Chicago. With an emphasis on ensuring access for all, VNA provides comprehensive primary care in 16 medical clinics serving more than 74,000 (and growing) individuals per year.

The Health Resources and Services Administration ranks VNA's quality of patient outcomes in the top 10% of Community Health Centers nationwide. VNA is also a Medicare-certified Home Health and Hospice provider and holds state grants for multiple public and community health programs.

Visit www.vnahealth.com.

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