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Outreach groups have been going through certain neighborhoods in North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County for several months now, educating and encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, WCNC-TV reported.
But on Monday, the station said the health department launched a new initiative called Doses to Doors to increase the number of vaccinated residents.
What are the details?
Simply put: Health department workers “armed with COVID-19 vaccines” joined the outreach teams “to make it easy and convenient to get a shot right at home,” WCNC reported.
“We get people that will say, ‘Yes, I’ll get the shot,’ but the follow-up has always been the issue. Will they go? How can we get people to go out and go?” Robert Dawkins with Action NC — a group whose workers have knocked on 35,000 doors since May — told the station.
One solution is that a vaccine shot can be had on the fly — right in the middle of a front-porch chat.
“Now that the health department is actually coming out with us, we miss that middle step, now,” Dawkins explained to WCNC. “So now, ‘Would you like to get a shot? Yes. We’ve got somebody right here on site.'”
The station said four people in the Southside Homes off Tryon Street got vaccinated on their front porches during the first few hours of the Doses to Doors program.
“I haven’t been vaccinated yet because I didn’t have the convenience to get around to getting there,” one man who got the shot told WCNC. “It’s a little bit more flexibility for me now; I don’t have to worry about in the next two weeks who got the disease or who I may be around who has it.”
The man’s COVID-19 shot was administered by Dr. Meg Sullivan, medical director for Mecklenburg County, the station said, adding that accessibility remains the primary “barrier” to a higher number of vaccinated people.
Former city councilwoman LaWana Mayfield helped with the outreach and added to WCNC that the Doses to Doors program “eliminates any excuse. You don’t have to drive anywhere and sit in line, you don’t have to have a vehicle, you don’t need to Uber. They are right here.”
According to the station, the county primarily is focused on neighborhoods with lower vaccination rates and communities that are hesitant and also have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
“You’ll see the majority of the crew is African American or Latinx because it’s hard for people to find commonality in a subject if they don’t see themselves in it,” Dawkins added to WCNC. “It’s not confrontational. It’s not like you’ve got to get the shot, but it’s our job to dispel those rumors.”
Author: DAVE URBANSKI