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EAST TEXAS: Share your COVID vaccine story

In Harrison County, health officials want to hear from community members who’ve gotten the shot.
Vaccination
Vaccination(WRDW)
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 4:57 AM CST
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HARRISON COUNTY, La. (KSLA) - As the Omicron variant surges — health leaders across the country and around the ArkLaTex continue to encourage the public to get the COVID vaccine.

Every day, notable doctors and medical professionals get on national and local TV to explain why the vaccine is critically important.

In Harrison County, however, health officials now want to hear from community members who’ve gotten the shot.

The Marshall-Harrison County Health District (MHCHD) is hoping those who are vaccinated in East Texas will share their testimonies about why they chose to get vaccinated.

Those interested can send an email to Media@MHCHD.org. Include your vaccination story, name, contact information and a photo — though it’s not required. Officials will contact you to discuss how you want your story shared with the public.

“You know these people, you live next door to them, you’re going to meetings with them, you’re working side-by-side with them,” said Jennifer Hancock, executive director of MHCHD. “We just felt like this on a broader scale might help those that aren’t ready to have that one-on-one conversation, but may be able to hear why their neighbors are doing this for specific reasons.”

According to the CDC, over 211 million people — 63 percent of the country — is fully vaccinated against COVID. However, in East Texas, there is a notable gap in local vaccination data.

For example, in Harrison County, 40 percent of eligible individuals are vaccinated, according to state data. In Panola County, that number drops to 36 percent.

“We just thought in our own community, it would be nice to hear from local members of our community - people that are your neighbors, people you go to church with and work with to hear what their testimony is,” Hancock explained. “We have a group that I feel like is in the middle, maybe they want it, but are just not sure and need more information.”

Hancock hopes to start bridging this vaccination divide through honest and open dialogue, which could result in further trust of the vaccine.

“We just thought this was one more way for them to understand people in their community have different reasons [for getting vaccinated].”

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