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By Stephen Ide
ONE Neighborhood Builders

PROVIDENCE, RI—More than a half-dozen people visited Biz Bodega, 222 Manton Ave., on Thursday morning for the opening of the free walk-in COVID-19 vaccine and flu clinic.

“People were waiting at the door at 9:30,” said Dennis Hermida-Gonzalez, Community Health Worker Supervisor for ONE Neighborhood Builders. “And we’ve already registered people for March 17 for their second dose.”

He said four children and two adults were vaccinated just within the first half hour. Over the course of the two-hour clinic, Rhode Island Department of Health vaccinators administered nine COVID-19 vaccines and two flu vaccines.

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Federal Hill House, ONE|NB, and the Rhode Island Department of Health have started offering vaccines on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Manton Avenue Business Support Center, recently re-named Biz Bodega. The business center is a collaborative, one-stop shop where individuals and small business owners can easily find the resources and support they need to launch and grow their businesses.

In addition to the clinic, ONE|NB is providing help with Rent Relief, SNAP, utility assistance, and health insurance through HealthSourceRI, Hermida-Gonzalez said. At least two families received direct help with that information on Thursday.

Claudia Hincapie, a ONE|NB Community Health Worker, was helping a young mother sign up for rent relief on Thursday, while the woman’s three girls, ages 1, almost 8, and 9, waited patiently.

Hermida-Gonzalez said representatives of Federal Hill House have also been walking people from the nearby food pantry to the clinic to get their vaccines.

Additional vaccine dates are scheduled for March 3, 10, and 17. Walk-ins are welcome, or people can register.