DOVER (WJER) (Feb. 2, 2022) – Tuscarawas County’s Vaccine Access Team has been getting back out into the community and on the airwaves here in the new year to promote COVID vaccination.
Facilitator Jamie Smith says the team’s outreach last year included pro-vaccination messages from community leaders and COVID survivors. Now, she says they’re turning the focus to the loved ones of individuals who succumbed to the virus.
“The push has always been get the vaccine, get the vaccine boost when you can, but I think we’re forgetting about all of these folks who we’ve lost because of COVID and we’re definitely forgetting about those they’re leaving behind – the loved ones who have to deal with the aftermath – so I think we’ve done a really good job capturing what that loss looks like and really again asking people to consider being vaccinated.”
You’ll be hearing those messages here on WJER in the coming weeks and months. The team is also hosting another round of vaccination clinics at area businesses, libraries, senior centers, and churches with the goal of increasing Tuscarawas County’s vaccination rate to at least 60 percent by September. Smith says while the shot alone won’t prevent you from contracting COVID-19, it has been shown to reduce the risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization and death.
“We are not pushing that it’s a preventative method. However, it is preventing folks from recovering in an ER. It is hopefully preventing folks from being on a ventilator. It is allowing folks when you get COVID if you are vaccinated, it’s going to be more mild symptoms rather than the severe ending up in a hospital kind of COVID.”
Clinic dates and times are listed on a flyer that’s posted throughout the community and on the Tuscarawas County Senior Center’s Facebook page. Just under 46-percent of Tuscarawas County residents had received at least one vaccine dose as of Friday compared to over 61 percent of all Ohioans.