Health department sets final vaccination clinics

As local health officials shift away from offering clinics, the health department will try alternative outreach efforts.

As public health officials stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccination with the highly contagious delta variant surging across the country and locally, the Christian County Health Department is offering three mobile vaccination clinics over the next month.

No appointment is necessary to receive a vaccine, which is provided at no cost.

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, the department will immunize individuals from 9-11 a.m. at the Hopkinsville Housing Authority, 400 N. Elm St., and 1-3 p.m. at Crofton City Hall, 101 E. Mill St. A third vaccine event is planned for 1-5 p.m. Sep. 18 at Jeffers Bend Nature Fest, 1170 Metcalfe Lane.

The clinics will be the county’s last sponsored clinics, department spokeswoman Amanda Sweeney-Brunt said in a news release this week.

She told Hoptown Chronicle that the decision comes as support from a state COVID-19 “strike team,” which has allowed staff to resume other health department services to full capacity, comes to an end.

The department will continue to offer vaccines from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday at its headquarters located at 1700 Canton St.

“The numbers we have seen in the offsite clinics can easily be accommodated here at the Christian County Health Department,” Sweeney-Brunt said.

Those who are unable to get to the county’s Canton Street offices or attend an upcoming clinic are encouraged to call the department at 270-887-4160.

“We will do all that we can to ensure those who want to be vaccinated are taken care of,” Sweeney-Brunt said.

‘Door-to-door’ outreach planned

Since COVID-19 vaccine efforts got underway early this year, Christian County has continuously ranked among the worst in the state for its vaccination rate — despite the county being selected to operate one of the first regional clinics in the state. On Thursday, the county’s vaccination rate was the second worst in the state, with just 22.93% of residents having received at least one shot — less than half the statewide rate of 52%.

As local health officials shift away from offering clinics, Sweeney-Brunt said the health department will try alternative outreach efforts.

“Following a vaccine data report, we found that surprisingly, our health department neighbors are one of the larger populations not vaccinated,” she told Hoptown Chronicle. “We are going to start [an] ‘It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood to get vaccinated’ door-to-door campaign to simply meet our neighbors, let them know what we can offer, and invite them to walk over on Thursdays to get their vaccine.”

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden outlined several strategies to persuade more Americans to get vaccinated, including “door-to-door outreach” in targeted communities and encouraging adolescents to get shots as they head back to school or get ready for fall sports, the Washington Post reported.

This week, Christian County school district officials indicated they may enroll the health department in efforts to set up student vaccination clinic if the need arises, but no clinics are currently scheduled.

Health department sets final vaccination clinics

Julia Hunter

Julia Hunter is the engagement editor for Hoptown Chronicle. Reach her at julia@hoptownchronicle.org.