The health department in a county in North Carolina has begun a new “doses-to-door” program aimed at making COVID-19 vaccines access easier for residents.
How we got here: The non-profit group called Action NC and other community outreach organizations have been going from door to door to help people register to get a COVID-19 shot. Action NC members have since knocked on over 30,000 doors, WCNC-TV reports.
The groups mainly target neighborhoods with low vaccinations rates.
“The main thing that we’re trying to do with this is make it as easy for people to get this shot,” Robert Dawkins, a member of Action NC told the outlet.
He claimed that the effort is meant to aid people who don’t have transportation to visit vaccination sites or are homebound.
The story: Last week, the nonprofit organization started working with the Mecklenburg County Health Department as part of a new new “doses to doors” program. The department joined the community outreach organizers by providing a vehicle with staff to offer COVID-19 vaccinations on the spot.
“When you look at the percent of our community who is vaccinated, it is not as high as it needs to be. We just know that we need to have those innovative ways,” said Dr. Meg Sullivan, Medical Director for the Mecklenburg County Health Department. “Those individual conversations through partnerships such as Action NC have really been vital to really increasing vaccine uptake.”
Dawkins said that the effort to inform people on vaccine safety and help them get the jabs will remain the same, except that now they’ll have “public health professionals on-site for people that want to get vaccinated.”
“We get people that will say ‘yes, I will get the shot’, but the follow-up has always been the issue,” he told WBTV. “Will they go? How can we get people to go out and go? So, now that the health department is out with us, we miss that middle step now.”
Dawkins said they don’t force people to get the shots and that “our job is to dispel rumors and things.”
Worth noting: People who agree to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will reportedly get a $25 gift card.
Why it matters? The “doses-to-door” campaign comes as the Biden administration announced a “door-to-door” effort that involves volunteers and activists ensuring residents that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective and safe.
Pushback from the governor: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster expressed opposition to the effort.
“A South Carolinian’s decision to get vaccinated is a personal one for them to make and not the government’s. Enticing, coercing, intimidating, mandating, or pressuring anyone to take the vaccine is a bad policy which will deteriorate the public’s trust and confidence in the State’s vaccination efforts,” he wrote to the state’s health department.
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