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Local communities need a local approach to increase COVID vaccination: Shot

Tourists stop by to see the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Cairo, Illinois. Here, a commercial vessel is moored on the shore. The long history of racial tensions dating back to the Civil War is still stabbed in Cairo. And, like many rural towns across the United States, communities feel undervalued and misunderstood.

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News


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Tourists stop by to see the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in Cairo, Illinois. Here, a commercial vessel is moored on the shore. The long history of racial tensions dating back to the Civil War is still stabbed in Cairo. And, like many rural towns across the United States, communities feel undervalued and misunderstood.

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News

Leigh Light was working hard to build a nail salon near an abandoned hospital in Cairo, Illinois, when Jody Johnson stopped by and introduced himself last afternoon.

Johnson working at University of Illinois Extension Program, Chat casually with the lights in the heat of summer. For Johnson, this was the first step in building trust in the city with less than 2,200 people. This is because the United States-wide extension program, which has long been valued by many rural communities to support farmers and 4-H clubs, has expanded its services to include education. The COVID-19 vaccine is open to the public.

Wright, 68, was unvaccinated and planned to continue vaccination, despite following other public health guidelines during the pandemic. But when it came to getting shots, he decided to leave his destiny to his faith.

“Doctors are good, don’t get me wrong,” Wright said. “But we needed to get something that we could really count on.”

Earlier this summer, Cairo residents Leigh Light and his son Roman Wright suspended construction work to take pictures. Both men decided not to be vaccinated. “I’m like my dad,” says Roman Wright. “I was born and raised in the church for the rest of my life, so we say we believe in God. We know that our parents are praying for me. We pray for each other, just God. I believe in. ”

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News


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Earlier this summer, Cairo residents Leigh Light and his son Roman Wright suspended construction work to take pictures. Both men decided not to be vaccinated. “I’m like my dad,” says Roman Wright. “I was born and raised in the church for the rest of my life, so we say we believe in God. We know that our parents are praying for me. We pray for each other, just God. I believe in. “

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News

Johnson didn’t talk to Wright about the vaccine that day. He just heard instead. “No one wants to be shy or despised because they aren’t doing anything,” Johnson later said.

that’s all 16% of residents Here in Alexander County, COVID-19 is fully vaccinated. According to the State Department of Health, this is the lowest rate in Illinois and the number of cases of coronavirus infection is increasing.that’s why Coordinated expansion systemIs linked to the Land Grant University network and will discuss vaccines in this community and elsewhere in the United States over the next two years. It may take longer to convince a sufficient number of people to be vaccinated.

Extended systems have a long tradition of providing communities with research-based information on a variety of topics, including water quality and food safety. And disaster preparedness.This system has its roots deeply sunk in the American countryside, where vaccines are lagging behind. Currently paying with state and federal funds Immunization education efforts Tailored to a specific community.

Already 4-H clubs are making masks and face shields.In Illinois, the agency is COVID-19 Resource Guide For families, business owners and farmers. Offices covering the southern part of the state are currently looking to hire someone in the community to help disseminate information about why vaccination is important. Johnson also wants to work with local churches, citizens and business owners to get the job done.

Why are only subtle vaccine strategies compelling?

“This isn’t our first pandemic,” said Carissa Nelson, spokesman for the Illinois 4-H program.Of the organization Agents and club members cared for patients Between 1918 influenza pandemic It devastated the world.

This time, extension service strategies could also help in these rural communities and in the urban areas in which they serve. However, local leaders say there is no quick solution to improving vaccination coverage in Cairo or across the country. Vaccination of people is a subtle challenge in all communities. Cairo continues to have a long history of racial tensions dating back to the Civil War. Like many rural towns throughout the United States, communities feel underestimated and misunderstood.

Beverly Davis (left) shows catfish along the banks of the river in Cairo, Illinois. Davis often fishes for dinner and distributes much of his prey to the community. Ronnie Woods, a local minister and retired school teacher (right), explains why he was vaccinated against COVID-19: “I have a strong belief,” Woods says. .. “And with my age, my risk factors, I just felt that God put science there to help us.”

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News


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Beverly Davis (left) shows catfish along the banks of the river in Cairo, Illinois. Davis often fishes for dinner and distributes much of his prey to the community. Ronnie Woods, a local minister and retired school teacher (right), explains why he was vaccinated against COVID-19: “I have a strong belief,” Woods says. .. “And with my age, my risk factors, I just felt that God put science there to help us.”

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News

Vaccine indifference is common here and infection rates have remained low until recently.

Tyrone Coleman, president and co-founder of the Alexander and Pulaski NAACP branch, who has helped organize vaccine clinics in Cairo, said:

In June, he invited the health department to the city’s June celebration at St. Mary’s Park. Over 300 people participated. However, at the state-sponsored pop-up clinic for this event, few people sought vaccination during the six-hour surgery.

“There were only two,” Coleman said.

“Cairo is not a ghost town”

At the beginning of the 20th century, more than 15,000 people lived in Cairo and earned the nicknames “Little Chicago” and “Gateway to the South”. Old factories, front yard houses, ornate libraries and vacant hospitals remain as reminiscent of the city’s magnificent past. The city’s library highlights the work of Samuel Clements, the best-known American writer, Mark Twain. After traveling to Cairo, Twain wrote about the city in his 1884 novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In the novel, Cairo represents a chance of freedom and a better life.

But the hospital shut down 1987. The only grocery store in town closed a few years ago. In recent years, public housing has been demolished and the only nursing home closed during a pandemic, forcing residents to look for new homes without notice. In addition, floods can wipe out cities many times.

Less today 2,200, the majority of whom are black,I live here. And locals say the population continues to decline with all closures.The city is often mislabeled by the media and travel guides Abandoned..

“Cairo is not a ghost town,” said Ronnie Woods, a local minister and retired school teacher. “It’s not dead at all.”

Tourists still stop by to see the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. However, they usually do not see the rocky riverbanks where the inhabitants fish for dinner. Beverly Davis, 60, often goes there with a rod in his hand, giving much of her catch to other members of the community. However, the scenic waterfront is lined with driftwood and dead fish washed up on the shore.

“I think that’s what it means,” Davis said, standing on the riverbank between carcasses of fish. “Otherwise it would be better.”

However, many inhabitants continue to believe that their city will return to its past glory. “The world has heard that this is a negative part of the country, and it isn’t,” Johnson said. “There are too many good things and people here.”

On this day, the city’s only outdoor basketball court was fixed in one hoop and busy with a rural community fighting to stay alive long before the pandemic broke out. The men in court did not seem to be worried about catching COVID-19.

“I don’t have COVID, so I don’t feel like I need to be vaccinated right now. I’ll just take it,” said Jeffrey Dewitt, 24.

Wright’s son, Roman Wright, 36, said much the same while helping his father build a nail salon in town. He works in a prison system. One of the nearby facilities reported a case of COVID-19, but Wright was not ill with the disease. Like his father, he said he wasn’t going to get a shot.

“I’m like my father,” said Roman Wright. “I was born and raised in the church for the rest of my life, so we say we believe in God. We know that our parents are praying for me. We pray for each other, just God. I believe in. “

Pastor Woods has a different perspective. He puts the vaccination card in a plastic scabbard and carries it with him wherever he goes.

“God put science there to help us.”

“I have a strong belief, and at my age, my risk factors, I just felt that God put science there to help us,” Woods said.

But Woods said it would take work to convince others in Cairo to be vaccinated, even if they knew someone who died of COVID-19. NS Prominent doctor I was among the dead in the community. “People just don’t trust, so we’ll need cultural change as well as explanation,” he said.

Jody Johnson (right), University of Illinois Extension Director, exchanges contact information with Leigh Light (left) and his son Roman. The Extensions office in Southern Illinois has launched an immunization education program aimed at reaching this prestigious city. Johnson knows that it’s important to listen to the locals on this topic.

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News


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Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News

Jody Johnson (right), University of Illinois Extension Director, exchanges contact information with Leigh Light (left) and his son Roman. The Extensions office in Southern Illinois has launched an immunization education program aimed at reaching this prestigious city. Johnson knows that it’s important to listen to the locals on this topic.

Cara Anthony / Kaiser Health News

This is one of the reasons Johnson is looking for a local voice to lead a vaccine education program for dissemination services over the next year. As a 51-year-old white man who grew up in a predominantly white community 45 miles from Cairo, he recognizes that locals are likely to share their thoughts with someone who lives here. In addition, he spends most of his time talking to community leaders and civil servants. He is looking for someone to spend time with locals who do not have a title or job title.

“Not everyone thinks like me,” Johnson said. “So we need to take that into account.”

Kaiser Health News Is a national editorial independent newsroom and program of the Kaiser Family Foundation and is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Local communities need a local approach to increase COVID vaccination: Shot

Source link Local communities need a local approach to increase COVID vaccination: Shot

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