Foundation gives $20,000 to spur vaccination in low-vax counties

State Department for Public Health vaccination-rate map, adapted by Kentucky Health News

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to increase uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines in counties with the lowest vaccination rates. They are “intended for rapid deployment” for new or expanded vaccination efforts, the foundation said in a news release.

Two grants are aimed at Christian County, which has the state’s second-lowest percentage of residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine, 34.2%. The rate may be depressed by the presence of Fort Campbell, but the county also has a big population of African Americans, who nationally have a low vaccination rate. The money will go to the the Hopkinsville-Christian County Branch, NAACP, and the Christian County Health Department.

Other recipients, targeted counties and vaccination rates are:

  • The school district in Clinton County, which has an at-least-one-dose vaccination rate of 40.9%.
  • The Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency and the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, for Clinton, Casey (36.8%), Cumberland (42.1%), McCreary (42.7%) counties.
  • Pennyrile Area Development District, for Crittenden County, 40.9%.
  • Barren River District Health Department, for Edmonson (37.4%), Hart (36%) and Metcalfe (39.3%) counties.
  • Grace Community Health Center, for Knox County, 36.3%.
  • Lewis County Health Department, 37.6%.
  • Buffalo Trace District Health Department, for Robertson County, 37.3%.
  • Todd County Health Department, 41.8%.
  • Green River District Health Department, for Union County, 40.5%. The statewide rate is 62%.

“These organizations are on the front line of the effort to get more Kentuckians vaccinated against Covid-19,” foundation President and CEO Ben Chandler said. “We are proud to support their hard work to protect our citizens against serious injury or death from the virus.”

“The organizations will employ various efforts such as videos and graphics to be posted on social media, as well as radio, television and print advertisements, school-based outreach, a 24-hour information hotline, bilingual efforts, and other outreach, especially to vulnerable populations,” the news release said. “The foundation also has a number of resources on its website to assist organizations, health care providers, family and friends in sharing the truth about COVID-19 and the vaccines. This includes public service announcement videos, a fact sheet, and links to the CDC and Kentucky Covid-19 dashboard.”

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