Brazos Valley healthcare providers work to address vaccine hesitancy and availability
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Health Point Clinic in Bryan hosted a weekend pop-up vaccine clinic in an effort to increase vaccination rates in the Brazos Valley.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Dashboard, 70.69 percent of eligible Texans 12 and up have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of September 18. A number that’s slightly higher than data reported on August 28, 2021.
DSHS reports 60.10 percent of eligible Texans were fully vaccinated as of September 18, which is up from 56.52 percent on August 28, 2021.
Health Point officials say they’re beginning to see an increase in people coming in to get vaccinated. Nancy Dee Paschal, Communications & Marketing Manager for HealthPoint, says it’s vital to meet the community where they are by making the vaccine available and easing concerns to reduce hesitancy.
“Our goal is really community health and making sure that we get as many people here in the Brazos Valley vaccinated to prevent negative outcomes from COVID,” said Paschal. “Health Point has been in the Brazos Valley since 1972. We’re a trusted medical provider, and we serve everyone regardless of your ability to pay.”
“Almost all of our providers are bilingual, English, Spanish speaking,” said Paschal. “So we’re able to reach people in the community who might not seek out medical care normally.”
Paschal says although vaccine hesitancy has been a common issue, more and more people are now starting to trust the vaccine.
“There was a lot of hesitation in the beginning, but I think now that people have seen their friends, family members and, coworkers get vaccinated, they’re much more encouraged and much more likely now that they know people who’ve been vaccinated,” said Paschal. “They’ve seen good outcomes from the vaccine, and the statistics are very clear if you’re vaccinated, you’re less likely to end up in the hospital.”
It’s one of the reasons Kawanna Johnson came to the Health Point Clinic in Bryan on Saturday to get her second dose of the vaccine. She says she got the vaccine because she wanted to do everything she could to stay out of the hospital.
“It’s starting to get scary, and it’s killing too many people. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to die,” said Johnson. “This new strain. I mean, it’s taking people out at record speed. It’s really scary.”
Johnson says her preexisting conditions and medications kept her from getting vaccinated sooner, but she’s grateful to now be fully vaccinated.
“I’m like allergic to lots of different medicines, and I can go into an anaphylactic shock,” said Johnson. “I talked to my doctor, and she was like, it’s ok to take it. Let them know that you have issues with medications, and they’ll watch you even closer.”
Health Point will host a vaccination event in Downtown Bryan on Sunday at the Radio Alegria Celebration. The event is from 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., and all three vaccines will be available for first and second doses.
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