Southwest Michigan counties looking for Vaccine Champions

Volunteers could earn $300 monthly stipend
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) -Southwest Michigan is in need of volunteers to help promote the Covid-19 vaccine and stop the spread of misinformation where they live.

16 News Now learned how you can become a vaccine champion.

The Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren County health departments are teaming up with the United Way of Southwest Michigan to get more people vaccinated--but they’re asking for your help.

They need vaccine champions to educate their peers on why getting the Covid vaccine is so important.

“The people who have not gotten the Covid-19 vaccine yet have reasons, and those reasons are very real and legitimate to them. A lot of those reasons center around fear. The best way to address that fear is in a one-on-one conversation with someone you already know and trust,” said United Way of SWM Strategy Vice President Rachel Wade.

Vaccination rates for people fully vaccinated in Berrien County are barely above 50%.

Roughly 53% of residents are fully vaccinated in Van Buren County.

It’s much worse in Cass County where only thirty-five percent of people are fully vaccinated.

Health officials say they hope vaccine champions in all three counties can help bump this number up to at least 70% in Southwest Michigan.

“Every vaccine matters. I know we’ve been aiming for that 70%. As our variants become a bit more transmissible, it might be important to even get above that,” said Acting Berrien County Health Officer Courtney Davis.

Individuals and nonprofits can volunteer to be vaccine champions.

Champions also have access to a $300 monthly stipend to increase their reach.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 9th.

Follow this link to get started on your application.

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