Guilford County to launch new vaccine approach

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The demand for spots to get shots is starting to slow down and by now, most people who have wanted a COVID-19 vaccine have been able to get one or at least schedule an appointment.

About 35 percent of people who are eligible for a shot in Guilford County are vaccinated. The goal is to double that number and reach communities where people are reluctant to get the vaccine. The easiest way to do that is to go directly to them.

“We’ve got to make sure that people don’t try to make this a political issue or a political statement,” Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston said.

Getting the right information out about the COVID-19 vaccine from trusted members of the community.

“We’re going to do television advertisements, newspaper advertisements. We’re asking our preachers to talk about it when they talk to their congregation. We’re asking our local leaders to also lead by example and to make sure that the people that know you and ask them if they’ve been vaccinated or not and why not,” Alston said.

Alston told FOX8 the county will be launching a marketing initiative next week to reach as many people as possible in rural, Black and Latino communities.

“We’re doing that research now and we’re going to be putting together a plan next week as far as targeting certain areas. We have three mobile units that we’re going to be also using in particular neighborhoods and in our rural areas and making sure we go to the people. They don’t have to come to us,” Alston said.

Handing out flyers, airing commercials and going door-to-door are all a part of the multi-phased process Emergency Management Director Don Campbell previewed in Thursday night’s county commissioner meeting.

“We’re also working with a number of non-profits that are working and communicating with their clients directly to try to identify not only what may have them hesitant right now but what barriers they have to getting a vaccine so we can remove as many barriers between them and getting that vaccine at one of our clinics,” Campbell said.

The hope is for the initiative to help launch the county closer to herd immunity by the end of August.

“To do our best to get as close to that 70% to 80% vaccination rate like we’re targeting,” Campbell said.

Alston also told FOX8 at some point Guilford County will schedule in-home COVID-19 vaccines.

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