PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Central Outreach Wellness Center launched a new online tool this week. The “VaxUP COWC” app hit the App Store on Monday and is aimed at getting members of the LGBTQ+ community vaccinated for COVID-19.
Dr. Stacy Lane, the founder of COWC told KDKA, “We have already given almost 100 vaccines today.”
The organization has received 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to date and the word is spreading fast.
“I understand that people don’t mean harm, but when word hit the street that we’re rolling out the vaccine, our phones were blowing up to the point where our patients can’t get in touch with us and that’s dangerous,” said Dr. Lane.
That’s where VaxUp COWC comes in handy.
The app provides education about the vaccine and allows patients to determine whether they qualify for one.
“We have 17,000 patients on our books that have never walked through our doors. We have about 8,000 active patients. But only about 4,000 patients qualify as 1A,” Dr. Lane explained.
Patients can also schedule their appointments through the platform.
COWC is distributing around 50 vaccines each day. More than 500 people have received one so far.
And while the organization does plan on vaccinating the public when supply increases, right now they’re only scheduling their own patients, strengthening their commitment to serve the underserved.
“For people of color, for people of the HIV+ communities and the LGBTQ+ communities, we’re really trying to make sure people have the care they deserve and we remove the barriers that face them,” Marketing Director of Central Outreach Wellness Center Alex Young said.
The distribution is happening inside the COWC office on the North Shore. But the organization is searching for more real estate to house larger distribution.
On top of this app, they’re also developing another one where people can have PREP, a preventative HIV drug, delivered to their front door.