Kentucky Sports Radio is spending a week on the road in low-vaccinated counties to promote coronavirus immunization

Matt Jones talks with sidekicks Drew Franklin and Shannon “The Dude” Grigsby on the first stop of their “Shots Across the Bluegrass” tour, Dinosaur World in Cave City, on Monday. (Photo by Tyler Glick)

He’s not counting the number of jabs, but Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio is waving the vaccination banner at stops in the southern half (and lesser vaccinated part) of Kentucky this week.

“Shots Across the Bluegrass” is the theme of Jones’s tour to Cave City, Greensburg, Paducah, Manchester and London, in which he does a remote broadcast from 10 to noon ET and vaccinators stand ready to jab audience members from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, without tickets or appointments. Friday he will be at Wildcat Harley Davidson, 575 E. Hal Rogers Parkway in London.

The tour is going mainly to counties with low coronavirus-vaccination rates, Jones said in an interview Thursday, because for “a lot of our audience, especially in the rural parts of the state, we might be one of the few voices they hear really promoting the vaccine. . . . At this point, people are kind of done modifying their behavior, so the best thing you can do is vaccination.”

Jones said he hasn’t been tallying the shots, but “I’ve had a lot of people write and say that through it, they’ve gone and gotten and it somewhere else.”

He said in a press release, “Getting the shot was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. It gave me peace of mind because not only am I protected, but I’m helping to protect others.”

The host said he and his three sidekicks — Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon “The Dude” Grigsby, have all been vaccinated, and are “happy we did it,” which helps because their listeners are accustomed to hearing them disagree.

Their tour is sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Health Plans, a trade group of companies that provide health insurance in the state. Its press release said its members are using “a range of tactics to promote vaccine access and acceptance such as digital and radio ads, member incentives, coordinated transportation for plan members, pop-up clinics, homebound vaccination visits, text and email campaigns, yard signs, billboards, outbound calls to members prioritized by risk tier, personalized assistance from advocates with sign-ups and digital site navigation, letters, and follow-up on second dose appointments if a plan is alerted that a member has not received the second dose based on claims data.”

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