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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the institutions of Together for West Philadelphia which is a health equity nonprofit that contributed to a $72,000 donation to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are among the 10 partner institutions of Together for West Philadelphia, a health equity nonprofit, that contributed to a $72,000 donation to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

The donation will allow the Consortium to continue providing free COVID-19 testing and vaccines in communities that were most impacted by the pandemic. The purpose of the donation is to address racial inequities surrounding COVID-19 and vaccine distribution, according to a press release from Together for West Philadelphia.

The press release cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s findings that Black people were 2.6 times more likely to contract COVID-19, 4.7 times more likely to be hospitalized, and twice as likely to die from COVID-19 relative to white people in September 2020. 

In early February, around 15% of the vaccines administered in Philadelphia went to Black residents, who make up 40% of Philadelphia’s population, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. According to the press release, 82% of the vaccines distributed at events held by the Consortium go to people of color and 75% of vaccines go to Black people.

On May 22, the Consortium gave $20 to individuals receiving their second dose of the vaccine who brought someone eligible for their first dose to the second Philly Vax-Jawn, a vaccine distribution event held at The Dell Music Center, FOX 29 Philadelphia reported. The Consortium gave away a total of $10,000.

Together for West Philadelphia released a video on February 25 with Pennsylvania Congressman Dwight Evans acknowledging hesitations about the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging individuals to make their own informed decisions. The video featured Perelman School of Medicine assistant professor Florence Momplaisir.

“Historically, racial minorities have not been included in clinical trials,” Momplaisir said in the video. “There [were] specific efforts made to ensure that there was racial diversity in the COVID-19 vaccine studies.”

The Consortium will sponsor vaccination clinics at Christian Stronghold Church, Victory Christian Center, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, and SEPTA 69th Street Station through the month of May.