Vaccine providers hope to meet at-risk patients where they live

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Posted at 6:53 PM, Sep 15, 2021

CINCINNATI — Valerie Craig got her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine without leaving home. She and other residents of Alms Hill Apartments attended a Wednesday vaccine clinic set up inside their building, providing them with an easily accessible appointment and an opportunity to ask questions of the health care workers on the scene.

“It made it a whole lot easier,” said Craig, who added she had been worried about losing her job if she did not get vaccinated. “That way, you don’t got to go to a clinic or go to UC.”

Dr. Anna Goroncy, a family physician in Walnut Hills, said she believes clinics like these can be an important tool to reach neighborhoods and demographics where vaccination rates are lower than average.

“Our neighborhood has been hit pretty hard by COVID, and as a predominantly African-American neighborhood, this community overall is higher risk,” she said. “And it has had difficulty with access, at different times, for the COVID-19 vaccines."

Dr. Rynita Bohler, a resident at Christ Hospital, added she was happy to participate in vaccine-related education as part of the event.

Workers went door to door on Tuesday to let Alms Hill residents know the clinic was happening and provide information about the vaccine to people with questions or worries.

“There's a lot of talk about COVID vaccines, and I think so much information can be confusing,” Bohler said. “Our goal was to present people with simple, reliable and correct information about the vaccine and also to answer any questions that people have.“

Craig, who got her vaccine, said the educational portion helped her feel much more comfortable with her decision and finally — months after vaccines became widely available — take the plunge.

“It did ease a lot of concern, especially after the reading that I went through,” she said. “So I’m like, OK, this is pretty much a good choice for me.”