Chinatown church becomes latest house of worship to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic

People gather outside the Chinese Community Church on I Street in Northwest D.C. to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The District has been working to bring vaccine clinics to houses of worship.

Chao Chi Liu, 85, gets his first shot of Moderna COVID vaccine at the Chinese Community Church in D.C.

Ze Li, 20, received his first COVID-19 shot in D.C.

Director of the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs Ben de Guzman speaks during the opening of the new church clinic in Chinatown. Chief Medical Officer at Howard University Hospital Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pickett (left) joined in as part of the opening.


There’s a push to get more people protected against COVID-19 in D.C. by offering vaccinations at houses of worship.

That effort continued Wednesday in the Chinatown neighborhood in Northwest.

About 150 people came to the Chinese Community Church on I Street to get the first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine.

One person in attendance looking to get vaccinated was 85-year-old Chao Chi Liu.

“I have been wanting to get this vaccine for a long time because I want the public safety,” he said through a translator.

Ze Li, 20, had been trying to get an appointment through the city’s pre-registration website or CVS Pharmacy.

“It’s very convenient to have it done here. Very quick. I just live a couple of blocks away,” Li said.

The clinic resulted from a partnership between the city government, the D.C. health department and Howard University Hospital.

“We believe that the best way to reach those who are people of color…those with English as a second language, and those who may be underserved is to actually come out into the community,” said Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, the hospital’s chief medical officer.

Ben de Guzman, director of the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, said members of his community face “unique challenges” right now, adding that the violence is “all too real.”

“We’re seeing incidents almost a daily basis against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” de Guzman said.

The Rev. Thomas Bowen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs, said more events at other houses of worship, such as a mosque and an Ethiopian church, are planned for the near future.

“If you’ve been fortunate to get the vaccine, then encourage others,” Bowen said. “Encourage your family, encourage neighbors, encourage friends, and if you’re standing in line at a coffee shop, encourage strangers.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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