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Vaccine Tracker: Vaccine progress update and fighting racial disparity

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -On this edition of the Vaccine Tracker, we’re taking a look at a new program in Michiana to help support people of color in the fight against COVID-19, but also providing education on the vaccine process.

We’ll first take a look at the progress being made in Michiana.

Indiana currently sits a 24.9% fully vaccinated and that equals out to 1,352,363 Hoosiers now protected from COVID 19.

Turning to Michigan they’ve crossed the quarter mark at 25.3% fully vaccinated and that is around 2,045,374 Michiganders.

Here is a look at the county-by-county map of Michiana showing the percentage fully vaccinated. This is from March 26th:

Latest percentages in Michiana as of 3-26
Latest percentages in Michiana as of 3-26(WNDU)

To show the progress, here are today’s numbers:

Michiana fully vaccinated 4-9-21
Michiana fully vaccinated 4-9-21(WNDU)

We now have 8 counties in Michiana above 20%. In two weeks we’ve seen a pretty big climb across Michiana, but as far as state totals go we have a long way to go to get to the 70% herd immunity goal.

Also covered in our Vaccine Tracker segment, a new initiative to help fight racial disparity in the vaccination process and in COVID-19 infections.

It’s called “It Starts Here” and its a partnership between healthcare providers and the community to reach people of color providing education on the safety of vaccinations and helping increase access to vaccine appointments.

“Providing them education on the vaccine; number one how they can learn more about it so if there are any questions that they have or if there are any myths that they have, they’ll be able to get that information but most importantly being able to know where to get the vaccine,” Latorya Greene, Director of Community Health & Well-Being and Tobacco Initiatives says.

Here is the information from St. Joseph Health System:

SJHS launches vaccine influencer campaign in South Bend

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (April 10, 2021) — Today, Saint Joseph Health System (SJHS), a member of Trinity Health, launched It Starts Here, a COVID-19 vaccine education initiative focused on communities of color.

SJHS engaged with and provided grants to six local organizations — La Casa de Amistad; Kingdom Christian Center Church; Imani Unidad, Inc.; Robinson Community Learning Center; South Bend Heritage Foundation and the St. Joseph County Department of Health — to talk about the facts of vaccination. The campaign addresses common concerns surrounding the vaccine, especially concerns of those who are vaccine-hesitant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19-related deaths are highest among those in the Hispanic or Latino and Black communities in the United States. Recognizing a long history of mistrust in the health community from those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, this campaign centers around an intentional, targeted approach to address vaccine hesitancy.

The It Starts Here campaign, running in 13 other communities across the country, focuses on raising awareness and elevating trust in COVID-19 vaccinations among vulnerable communities.

“To date, we’ve administered nearly 543,000 vaccine doses to people in our communities across the United States,” said Dr. Daniel Roth, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Trinity Health. “While this is a remarkable feat, we will continue to measure our success by how we make a difference for those in underserved populations.”

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the vaccination rollout, and I want to hear from you. Email me at zach.horner@wndu.com or find me on Facebook and send a message if you have an issue or idea of something we can dig into on the Vaccine Tracker.

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