|The first Community Health Day was celebrated in Hindman on Friday, August 6. (Photos by Melissa Slone, UK)|
By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News
HINDMAN, Ky. – The first of 96 Kentucky University Events to offer Covid-19 vaccines and other health screenings in 32 Kentucky counties resulted in seven more Kentucky residents receiving a vaccine.
|Robin Hensley had a chance at the first Community Health
Day from the Kentucky River District Health Department.
Robin Hensley of Clay County, who was camping in the area, was one of seven who got vaccinated. Hensley, a registered nurse, said she was initially against taking the vaccine because it “came out too soon,” but after learning more about it, she decided to get vaccinated.
Coronavirus vaccines could be developed, tested, and licensed for emergency use in less than a year due to previous research on related coronaviruses and new technologies, and federal funding from Congress and the Trump administration.
Clinics are offered as the much more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus emerges across the state, with no real end in sight. They offer more than vaccines.
Melissa Slone, Interdisciplinary Research Director at the UK center, said blood pressure checks and diabetes and stroke risk screenings at events remind people to start thinking and managing their chronic conditions again after allowing them to work while vaccines were not yet available. come.
“We want people to get vaccinated,” Slone said, “but if we can also help them control some of the other chronic diseases, then that’s a win too.”
Kentucky Homeplace, through its community health workers, can help people with a variety of resources, whether medical, social or environmental, such as assistance with heating and cooling or housing needs.
Twenty-two people were tested in the Hindman event, but only seven received the vaccine.
Fran Feltner, director of the rural health center, which is based in Hazard, said offering a variety of tests alongside coronavirus vaccines is important because it allows them to provide objective information about vaccines and answer any questions that may be asked by the coronavirus. participants. they have on them, whether they choose to get vaccinated or not.
|Fran Feltner magnets|
For example, he said that many people continue to think that there is a microchip or a magnet in the vaccine, which is not true. To dispel that myth, he had a magnet pack available to prove it was not true.
“Our intention is to find people where they are to work through barriers, alleviate fears, dispel myths, educate and assess any needs that people may have that could be preventing them from getting vaccinated,” Feltner said in the press release. .
Feltner said in the interview that the events are “about community members caring for community members. The ultimate goal is to make sure everyone has access to the vaccine, whether it’s children or adults who need access to the vaccine. And sometimes, you bring them to them instead of them coming to you … It’s up to us as community members to make sure people have the right information so they can make the right decisions. ”
Feltner said Homeplace health workers, who know the people in their communities, have been instrumental in planning the events. He said some sites have had trouble finding local providers to administer vaccines, and in those cases Walgreens has agreed to partner with them to administer the vaccines.
Feltner concluded the interview by encouraging people who are hesitant to receive a vaccine to seek credible information about vaccines and then weigh their risk before deciding whether or not to receive one. She said: “The more people we can get vaccinated, the more we can get back to a new normal.”