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Grantee Blog 2020

Trenton Makes Vaccines Happen

Trenton Health Team’s role as a convenor among community and government agencies has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since early 2020, THT has been the hub for coordinating needed services such as COVID testing–establishing weekly neighborhood free testing sites for members of our community who lack transportation–and bringing free COVID-19 vaccines into neighborhoods to boost our local vaccination rate. Lately, we set up weekly sites in each ward of the city to offer both COVID-19 vaccines and required back-to-school immunizations.

We work closely with faith leaders and other advocates to answer questions and dispel myths in online Q&A sessions in both English and Spanish, and we recently launched a weekly Covid Conversations series with a popular local news agency.

Reaching our Spanish-speaking community has been a top priority. We improved our website translation and worked with community partners to create and distribute materials to inform and guide Spanish speakers through the vaccine process. We also enlisted Hispanic community leaders for ads on Spanish language radio stations.

We took our outreach into neighborhoods, hosting vaccine events with barber shops and beauty salons. We also enlisted sorority and fraternity organizations, local artists and merchants, to encourage vaccinations.

To reach young adults, THT engaged a group of Trenton high school students who learned about COVID-19 and the vaccine before designing a citywide billboard campaign sharing “the facts on the vax” and urging youth to get vaccinated.

Earlier this summer, THT teamed up with local business owners to offer discounts for customers who were fully vaccinated by July 4, 2021. Merchants received a stipend as our thank-you for helping promote vaccinations. 

Reggie Hallett, co-owner of 1911 Smokehouse BBQ, was among the first merchants to join the campaign. “We want to do everything to support the community,” he said. “The community is all we have and we need to help everyone.”

These efforts are part of our ongoing “Trenton Makes Vaccines Happen” campaign, supported by New Jersey Department of Health, city and county health agencies and community agencies including Catholic Charities Trenton Diocese, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund,  the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, Henry J Austin Health Center, and St. Francis Medical Center. 

About the Grantee

Trenton Health Team

Trenton Health Team is an innovative, multi-sector partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of the greater Trenton community.