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East Vegas community center holds final vaccine clinic, new location offering appointments

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Posted at 8:17 PM, Apr 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 23:35:57-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Rafael Rivera Community Center wraps up its vaccination clinics this weekend after five and a half weeks of helping the east Las Vegas community get their shots.

More than 2,000 people, mostly Hispanics, were vaccinated at the site since its first pop-up clinic back in February.

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For many people in the area, the clinics at the community center were the only option close to home during a time when their community was being hit the hardest by COVID-19.

Liliana Rodriguez was both anxious and grateful to get a second shot appointment at the center on Saturday.

She says she received her first dose at Rafael Rivera as well.

“The first dose was a long wait because we got here around 8:30 and we left around 11:30 or 12 p.m.,“ said Rodriguez, pointing out that the clinic has gotten faster since her first visit.

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After her first shot, she contacted her friends and neighbors to let them know that they could get theirs nearby too, regardless of immigration status.

“Our community thrives on family," said Astrid Silva, the executive director of Dream Big Nevada. "Our community, they live together, they work together."

"Transportation was a huge issue for a lot of the people that came here," Silva said. "They came here walking, they were riding their bikes."

Seeing the need for vaccines in the east Las Vegas area, several community groups partnered with Walmart to offer clinics in a place where neighbors safe and comfortable, especially the undocumented community.

“So many of them didn't receive unemployment, they didn't receive benefits -- because we legally can't," said Silva.

"So we wanted to make sure they had access to the vaccine as soon as possible in their categories because so many of them are continuing to work," she explained. "They can't take a day off, they don't have the opportunity to do that."

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The Immigration Home Foundation says five weeks after the clinics began, the joint effort has paid off. They’re now seeing a decrease in COVID-19 numbers within the Hispanic community in the area.

While the Rafael Rivera Community Center is closing its doors as a vaccination site, there’s a new site open by Walmart at Centro Cristiano El Shaddai on 2075 North Lamb Boulevard near Lake Mead Boulevard.

At the Centro Cristiano El Shaddai location, you'll find people that speak Spanish, and immigration questions won’t be asked.

Their operation days and hours (which are subject to change) are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez says she hopes she continues to feel good this weekend after receiving her second dose.

"I think my hand will hurt a little bit again," said Rodriguez, "but that is OK. I mean, that is all worth it.”