By Matthew Rodriguez
Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor

Home Instead, a senior care company, will donate money for every shot given at an upcoming vaccine clinic to Pasadena Village.

“I think that it’s critical for organizations like mine who work with vulnerable populations — whether that be the aging population or the developmentally disabled — to ensure that everyone in the community has an opportunity to go ahead and get the vaccine,” Home Instead owner Greg Sanchez said.

“If that means enticing to do so, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Pasadena Public Health Department will host a vaccine clinic at the Pasadena Buddhist Temple in Northwest Pasadena. From 9 to 11 a.m., residents can receive the first or second dose of any of the three approved vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Appointments and walk-ins are allowed.

The Pasadena Buddhist Temple and the PPHD have partnered in the past hosting several clinics in the parking lot and gym of the temple.

“The department has been great about having clinics in our area,” said Kathy Kumagai, Pasadena Buddhist Temple board president. “We’re really happy that we can be one of the sites that they use.”

For each shot administered, Home Instead will donate $100 to Pasadena Village, up to $10,000.

“We are definitely trying to give back to those organizations that were really instrumental to keeping our senior population safer at home,” Sanchez said.

Established in 2012, the Pasadena Village is a community for the elderly who prefer to live independently in their own homes. The hope is to create a support network between members, connecting them with others with similar interests. The nonprofit has 140 members living throughout the San Gabriel Valley area.

“(The partnership) just helps everybody,” Pasadena Village Executive Director Katie Brandon said. “It really helps the older adults that we serve and can serve in our community.”

If the goal of $10,000 is reached, Pasadena Village will use it to lower membership dues. According to Brandon, the membership dues could be lowered to $10 a month. While the membership dues are on a scale, it typically costs $80 a month for households or $57 a month for individuals.

“For Pasadena Village, our annual budget is just about $250,000,” Brandon said. “The possible donation of $10,000 is a huge amount for us. … Here at Pasadena Village that would be substantial, and it would really go toward supporting those older adults who live alone or live independently.”

Pasadena has a very high vaccination rate with 93.4% of all residents receiving at least one dose and 85.3% fully vaccinated. All most all seniors, 99.9%, in Pasadena have received at least one dose.

“Getting every person we can get vaccinated that wasn’t before is going to make our whole community so much healthier and safer for all of us,” Brandon said.

The vaccination rates of African Americans and Latinos lag behind the Caucasian and Asian populations. Of those who are eligible, 83.9% of Caucasians in Pasadena have received at least one dose. The Asian and Pacific Islander population has an even higher vaccination rate, with 90.9% with at least one dose.

In comparison, only 68.7% of African Americans have received at least one dose and Latinos is lower with 56.9% receiving their first dose.

PPHD is hoping to bridge the gap in vaccination rates by hosting clinics in Northwest Pasadena and other neighborhoods that are majority Black and Latino.

The novel coronavirus continues to linger in the area as the Delta variant proves to be more contagious than past variants. However, Pasadena has seen a decline in cases in the past weeks with an average of 21.3 cases weekly compared to 30 just a few weeks ago. 

“If you’re not vaccinated go get it,” Kumagai said. “It’s easy.”