Dakota County Public Health has received national recognition for its community outreach to vaccinate people against COVID-19.
The department earned a 2022 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for its use of a mobile trailer to vaccinate residents in neighborhoods and at community events in addition to traditional county clinics. The Achievement Awards program recognizes innovative county government programs.
The Dakota County Board of Commissioners recognized Public Health for the award Sept. 6.
Public Health purchased the mobile trailer to reach residents who have barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, including transportation or language barriers and lack of internet access for scheduling appointments.
“Our goal with the trailer was really to get out in the community and target some of these folks that are hard to get to," Public Health Director Gina Adasiewicz said.
The mobile trailer provided 57 clinics from May 2021 to August 2022 in more than two dozen locations in the county. About one-third of the clinics were in mobile home and low-income housing complexes. Other clinics were held at community sites, schools and civic events.
More than 1,500 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 through mobile clinic events. More than half of people who were vaccinated identified as non-white and nearly one-third were youth ages 12–15.
The county used federal COVID-19 relief funding to pay for the trailer, and county staff equipped the trailer to offer four semi-private immunization stations.
The trailer is adaptable so other immunizations can be offered, and Public Health is planning to include early childhood screening and vision checks at future clinics.
Public Health continues to offer COVID-19 immunizations, including the new bivalent booster shot.