Columbus Ga. (WRBL) – A White House initiative has vaccination sites popping up at barbershops and beauty salons.
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“Everybody who’s ever been to a barbershop or a beauty salon knows you get fact checked in a barbershop and beauty salon,” says Cameron Webb, Senior Policy Advisor to the White House for equity on the COVID-19 response team.
“Part of what we’ve done through this initiative is you know all of the barbers and stylists they’ve gone through training to learn more about the virus and the vaccine how it works and what some of the myths are,” says Webb.
He went on to say, “So they’re ready to have that conversation. They’re ready to encourage people to go a little bit beyond what they’re seeing on social media. Or kinda the myths that are in they’re community to seek facts and that’s gonna be a key ingredient in our ability to find a way through this pandemic.”
Carolyn Wilson the owner of the shop feels she’s providing a necessary service to her community
“I felt like since I’ve been down here in the community for many of years,” Says Wilson. “That they trust me holding it. If they see me doing it here that means they will come out and either get educated or go ahead and get their vaccination.”
This event comes to Columbus at a time when the vaccination rate in Muscogee County, currently 35%, is lagging behind the national average of just above 53%, and local hospital beds are full.
“Hospital beds are at capacity and of course we’re approaching emergency situations in terms of additional beds,” says Representative Sanford Bishop. “So, we have got to get it done. We have got to get to understand how important it is for ourselves and each other”
Georgia DPH West Central Health District officials would like to see vaccinations go above and beyond the national average of 53%
“My goal is beyond the 50% to the 75%” says Georgia DPH West Central Health District Director Beverly Townsend.
“That’s the way were gonna approach it is through education and availability,” says Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson. “We gonna make sure people are getting accurate medical information instead of reading it on some website.”
He went on to say, “And we’re also gonna make sure that we do what DPH and ultimate touch is doing today, and that is get into the neighborhoods and offer this vaccine for those that are healthy enough to take it”