Saturday, October 23, 2021

COVID-19 state education campaign launched in rural areas | Coronavirus

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During the month, the department is holding outdoor pop-up events at 18 Walmart locations across the state. On Sunday, department staff members were at a Walmart in Tyler to talk to parents and families about the importance of vaccinations. As with the visit to the Tyler Walmart, each pop-up event will feature a 16-foot video wall with information about vaccines. The wall also features messages from local officials.

On Sunday, Dr. Paul McGaha, Smith County health authority and Dr. Valerie Smith, pediatrician at St. Paul Children’s Clinic, were featured on the video wall. Other family-friendly attractions also were set up at Sunday’s event, including a basketball game and a wheel spin for the public to participate in.

“We strongly encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. For one thing, it’s free. There are many places they can receive the vaccine — health departments, pharmacies, and many other places. It’s a very effective vaccine and very safe, so you can’t beat that combination,” McGaha said. State data shows 66.15% of people age 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Monday, while 59.14% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

McGaha talked about accessibility to the vaccine and the benefits. “What we know is that the vaccine is safer than getting COVID, both for you as well as the people you’re around,” Smith said.

State data shows 82.60% of people age 65 and older in the county had been vaccinated with at least one dose on Monday, while 76.17% of that population had been fully vaccinated.

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