As COVID-19 vaccination rates in Tarrant County slowly improve, health leaders continue their efforts in targeted areas.
As of this week, more than 2.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in Tarrant County. 62% of eligible residents have been vaccinated, according to the latest county data.
“There’s always areas that are falling behind compared to the others, but what I’m encouraged about is there’s slow but steady improvements in all areas,” Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja said. “It’s not like one area particularly is just not getting vaccinated. It’s just that the areas that were lagging are still lagging and slowly improving, but so is the rest of the county.”
Taneja said continued efforts in areas where 30% to 39% of residents are vaccinated include advertisements and partnerships with community organizations. As of Thursday, the 76119 ZIP code is reporting a vaccination rate of 37.3%.
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Registered nurse Laverne Campbell serves as the Director of Nursing for Beth Eden Baptist Church in Fort Worth. The church has been a vaccine clinic for several months and is now also a drive-thru testing site.
“Well, the administration for vaccines has been very light. As a nurse, that’s very disappointing,” Campbell said. “I don’t really try to convince them to necessarily get the vaccine. I try to meet them where they are, and I answer their questions.”
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Campbell told NBC 5 Thursday, misinformation about vaccines is a factor behind why some people remain hesitant.
“Some people still think they have to pay for the vaccine or that they don’t have insurance. In this particular area, there’s a large Hispanic population. Some don’t want to be found out, so they stay out,” she said. “I had someone say to me not too long ago that they feared having a chip that is inserted in the vaccine. As preposterous as that sounds to you or I, it is their reality. That’s what they believe.”
While she reiterates vaccination is a choice, she said her role is to educate the best she can.
“I found that in due time, some of those…once their questions are answered to their satisfaction…they eventually come around. Most do,” she said. “Some don’t. Some never come around, and I just let them know it’s your choice to get it or not to get it. When you meet people where they are and you give them the information they need to make the decision, then they usually will make the right decision for themselves.”
The church located on 3208 Wilbarger Street in Fort Worth operates as a COVID-19 vaccine clinic and drive-thru site every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. All three vaccines are available, as well as the booster shot.