Gregg County Health Department Plans To Use Federal Grant To Educate Demographics With Low COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) – This week, the Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a $ 380,000 federal COVID-19 health disparity grant for the Gregg County Department of Health.

“The four groups of people were the homeless, low-income, African-American and Hispanic communities, to provide education and also try to get more immunization rates if possible,” said Dr. Lewis Browne, the Gregg County Health Authority.

“Their percentages of vaccine levels are below average and we’re trying to reach those areas to get them involved in the process,” said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt.

The grant will provide funding for educational and community outreach programs, such as this weekend’s collaboration at the East Texas Yamboree with the Vaccine Awareness Coalition and Health on the Move in East Texas.

“What we need to do is meet our customers where they are. And a lot of times that literally means going to where they live and meeting them where they are, ”said Anita Lowe, clinical instructor at UT Tyler Longview campus. “Specifically in communities that have a greater disparity related to social determinants and care. “

“There is a lot of mistrust within some communities, so we are trying to get, to regain their trust,” said Ashley Sloan, immunization program manager for the Gregg County Health Department.

“We’re finally in the third, fourth quarter, we’ve reached the 20-yard line, and we want to win on the goal line, but there are still areas that we need to address, and this grant is going to help us. to do it, ”Stoudt said.

The next Gregg County Health Department community outreach will take place on November 12 at the Highway 80 Rescue Mission.

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