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Public Health approaches community to help address vaccine hesitancy

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The Covid-19 vaccine campaign is getting more personal with President Biden calling for a door-to-door approach.

Wednesday, we looked at how local health departments will be taking on this effort.

Oregon has reached its 70% vaccination rate, but that doesn't mean Covid is over. There's plenty more work to be done.

Part of that is a community approach in addressing vaccine hesitancy.

"Certainly Lane County has a broad reach with the many people they serve. But some of our community based organizations have a unique relationship with the people they serve. And they're able to have conversations about vaccines, offer vaccine clinics directly to the people they serve," said Jason Davis, Public Information Officer with Lane County Public Health.

The reasons for not getting vaccinated can vary.

"There's a spectrum as to reasons why people have not been vaccinated for Covid-19 yet. And they range from the extreme, as you said. Some people are uninterested and would take a lot of convincing on our part to get a vaccine," said April Holland, Public Health Administrator with the Benton County Health Department.

Holland says community groups are working to get the vaccine to hard-to-reach areas - and also change people's minds about not getting the shots.

"Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood. And off-times, door to door, literally knocking on doors," said President Biden in a speech Tuesday in a push to reach thousands of unvaccinated Americans.

Benton County is already going door to door with healthcare partners, while Lane County is looking at ways to start up their own program.

"We're looking to bring on a team that is specifically looking at not necessarily the public information of what we're doing right here, but that community engagement piece and that could be door to door," said Davis.

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He says a door-to-door effort could include volunteers, medical staff and even National Guard members.

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