Signs For Vaccine Become Sticking Point Between Clinic & City

For weeks, Parmar has been working to get the word out to the underserved community that he has vaccine shots available for free. He just needs more eligible people to come get it.

The signs saying a community clinic had vaccines available for local residents was supposed to attract attention, but unintentionally caught the ire of City of Aurora Code Enforcement Officer.

“It did increase the number of people coming in which was great,” said Dr. P.J. Parmar who runs Ardas Family Medicine inside the Mango House. “We’re targeting people in 80010 which is the poorest zip code in the metro area, and the one thing they all do is go down Colfax.”

Signs are plastered around the Mango House which is home to a variety of restaurants and shops. Ardas Family Medicine usually focuses on refugees and asylum seekers.

Parmar is now hoping to give out many more doses when the next phase of eligibility opens on Friday.

“Because of the signs we’ve had a lot of people saying, ‘hey when is it my turn?’ and they’re ready. We’re hoping to get a big rush of people. I realize it’s a pedestrian district, but that’s exactly why I’m here to serve people who maybe don’t have cars. They take the bus. It’s an underserved area,” he said.

Last week, the city sent a citation saying the signs hanging from two dormant trees are a violation of the city’s code because they’re not permitted for the pedestrian district.

The city emailed CBS4 saying in part, “Aurora is thankful for and supportive of those in our community who are working hard during the pandemic to educate residents about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine and expand access to it. The type of banner being used at Mango House to promote the clinic is not allowed by zoning in the Colfax Overlay walking district, and there are concerns about the banner’s attachment to the trees and the potential damage that could cause.”

The city also said there were safety concerns. It is giving Parmar until the end of the month to remediate the illegal sign.

“I don’t plan on taking it down. I guess if we go a couple months, enough of our people are going to know of our vaccine. I’m willing to pay the fine,” he said.

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