Heartland health officials work to vaccinate minority residents

Heartland health officials work to vaccinate minority residents

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Three out of ten people in Cape Girardeau have already received one shot according the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. Now, they are attempting to reach minority residents in the county who may not be getting the message of the importance of the vaccine.

“The benefits far outweigh the risks,” Linda Adkisson, a nurse for the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, said.

Today they partnered with the Salvation Army to administer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, along with upcoming ones in effort to get more minorities vaccinated.

“It’s a single dose, its one time so you don’t have to worry about coming back in two weeks or four weeks for the second immunization,” Adkisson said.

Matt Degonia, with the Salvation army in Cape Girardeau, said this one-time vaccine will make it easier for those who live in South Cape to access,

“We wanted to focus on the people that are here in South Cape that might have a hard time getting other places in the area to get a vaccine,” Degonia said.

He said it’s important for minorities to see others who look like them receive the vaccine.

“They see, these people look just like me they got a vaccine and so I think I can go get it as well,” Degonia said.

Renita Green, pastor of St. James AME Church in Cape Girardeau, said lack of access is not the only reason minorities are not getting the vaccine, but also a history of distrust in the medical field.

“If you only have the health department that wants you the get the vaccine, or the state that wants you to get the vaccine and that’s your only source, and you don’t trust the state, it’s like the information is lack of what people would consider credible information,” Green said.

She said she seen more acceptance in her congregation, but she wants people to know they still have a choice,

“While we want to give the best information that we have, we want to honor people’s health care decision no matter what those are,” Green said.

“I just want people to avoid that fear of getting the shot. That we now know that hundreds of thousands of people across the world have been immunized,” Adkisson said.

The Public Health Center will host its next vaccine clinic on April 18, at St. James AME church.

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