State Health Dept. Launching PSA Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Health Department has announced that starting May 4th, no appointment will be necessary to receive your COVID-19 vaccine at the Tennessee Riverpark for anyone aged sixteen and older.

“They can just show up, they can come anytime 9am to 6pm. This starts May 4th, which is next Tuesday,” says Health Department Communications Chief, Carleena Angwin.

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The problem is, young people in particular aren’t getting vaccinated, even though it’s widely available.

“There’s a sense that if you’re young and if you’re healthy, you’re really not at risk. I think you think that you’re kind of invincible,” says Rae Bond, Executive Director of the Hamilton County Medical Society.

Bond says that young people are feeling the brunt of not getting vaccinated, and that now the average age of hospitalizations has dropped.

“Some of the hospitals are seeing significantly younger patients. So that is all a very real concern.”

Now, the Tennessee health department plans on releasing a PSA within days to increase public trust with the vaccine.

“I’m really delighted the state is going to do a safety PSA campaign. That’s great, they’ve been working very hard on messaging. I think it’s going to take a concerted effort by everybody, by the state department of health, people talking to their loved ones and urging them to get vaccinated,” says Bond.

She says that the Hamilton County Health Department will even pay for your transportation to vaccination sites like Tennessee Riverpark to make the process quick and easy.

“There’s really no excuse to put it off anymore, so the medical society certainly encourages people to go forward and get vaccinated.”

“It’s just really important for everybody who qualifies to go ahead and get the vaccine so that we can create immunity and we can go back to a sense of normalcy sooner,” adds Angwin.

The hours available to receive your vaccine at the Riverpark site are Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 3pm.