Bank partners with CVS to improve access to flu shots across underserved communities in Amarillo

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - With flu season starting, Bank of America has partnered with CVS Health to fund free flu shots in underserved communities.

Bank of America has provided five Amarillo non-profits 500 vouchers for free flu shots at CVS.

Each nonprofit has received 100 vouchers to give out to those they serve.

Those nonprofit partners include:

· Heal the City

· Wesley Community Center

· Family Support Services

· United Way of Amarillo and Canyon

· Opportunity School

Bank of America says this is a part of its $1.25 billion commitment over the next five years to help advance racial equality and economic mobility for underserved communities, primarily communities of color.

“We want to alleviate barriers for folks who want to get a vaccine, unfortunate statistics show that communities of color are less likely to be vaccinated and have a higher likelihood of being hospitalized and so we feel like the access to this free flu shot will help alleviate some of those,” said Sherrie Padilla, market executive, Bank of America.

She says they have partnered with these nonprofits because they know where the needs are and who might benefit the most from these vouchers.

Nonprofit, Heal the City provides free medical care to the uninsured of Amarillo and says this initiative is a “lifesaver” for them.

“We have to pay money out of our own budget, which we are a nonprofit, so it makes it a little bit difficult to get flu vaccines at our facility, so these flu vouchers you know, our patients can come in and we’re saving the ER and we’re saving lives really with these being able to be proactive and help them have that access just like you and I would with insurance,” said Rachel Scott, clinic director, Heal the City.

She mentions the underserved community is much more than just the homeless population.

“We have tons of restaurants in Amarillo, right those are your servers, the ones that clean your houses, the ones that they’re working for almost, that do all these amazing things that benefit you every single day that get overlooked that don’t get access to insurance, don’t make enough to pay for insurance every month, that’s exactly where these are targeted,” said Scott.

Heal the City believes with this initiative they are able to break down barriers.

“To be absolutely free for the patient, they just have to go to CVS and you know present this voucher and they get it for free, a lot of times like I said, the working poor have families and if it’s to rather put meals on their tables for their kids or get a flu vaccine, they’re always going to always pick the meals for their kids, which they rightfully should, but this allows them to do both,” said Scott.

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