Genesee County Health Department going door-to-door to promote COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:23 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A new survey from the Protect Michigan Commission show people in several areas of Mid-Michigan are not on board with getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

That survey shows more than 70% of Michiganders have been vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated. Results show 64% of residents who are currently unvaccinated said they are not getting the vaccine or are undecided.

In places like Flint or in Saginaw, getting people vaccinated involves more than just telling people to get a vaccine. Health officials need to examine the roots of the problem and address them directly.

”It doesn’t surprise me that there’s vaccine hesitancy out there. It’s something that we are actively working to address,” said Kayleigh Blaney, the deputy health officer for the Genesee County Health Department.

She said there are a number of factors at play when it comes to vaccine hesitancy. That can include the information people are receiving, where it’s coming from, the medium or even where they live.

“You could have an access to transportation issue living in a city, but that lack of transportation when you live out in a rural area can affect you differently than if you don’t have access to transportation in a city,” Blaney said.

The health department is going right to the doorsteps of residents to address that hesitancy within the county. They hope a knock on the door eventually will lead to a shot in the arm.

Blaney says Michigan United has been very successful in talking with people at home in predominantly Hispanic areas, educating them, setting up appointments for vaccines and even providing transportation if needed.

“It might just be that they don’t like needles or they don’t trust the government or maybe someone had a bad prior health experience or don’t trust the health care system,” Blaney said.

State health officials are planning an announcement later this week about a big push to get more people vaccinated in more hesitant areas. However, the specific parts of the plan were not released on Monday.

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