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July 20, 2021

Videos address vaccination hesitancy in health district

Click above to watch the vaccine testimony of Tyronne Champion, senior pastor of True Deliverance Ministries in Bealeton.
Vaccines are our best shot at normalcy and keeping our families and communities safe.
— Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Population Health Coordinator April Achter
“I chose to get the vaccine because I don’t want to get sick.”

“I got vaccinated for my grandchildren.”

Those comments come from a new video series produced by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District. The videos aim to inform and answer questions for those hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, health officials said.

The five-county health district, which includes Fauquier, has shared the videos on its Facebook page and its Vaccinate Piedmont website.

With funding support from the Warrenton-based PATH Foundation, the video series features testimonials from patients, doctors and community leaders who have received the shots.

“As we all know, this past year has been very challenging and tough for many of us,” Culpeper Baptist Church Worship Leader and Director Alex Smith says in one video. “If you’ve lost someone, like I have, you know the importance of getting the COVID vaccine, so we can all get back to some sort of normalcy.”

The videos seek to address several concerns expressed by community members, including worries about the efficacy of the vaccines and potential side effects.

Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Population Health Coordinator April Achter emphasizes the vaccines’ safety and an essential role in a return to pre-pandemic life.

“We know it has been a difficult year, and that many may feel uncertainty about the vaccination process,” Ms. Achter said. “By sharing science and real-life experiences from folks who have been vaccinated, these videos will help reassure our community that the shots are safe and effective.

“Vaccines are our best shot at normalcy and keeping our families and communities safe.”

As vaccination rates have increased in the district, vaccine doses have become more widely available, with many locations offering walk-in vaccine appointments.

In Fauquier, 35,628 residents — or 50 percent of the county population — had completed the vaccines as of Monday morning. Statewide, 53.1 percent have done so.

The county also lags in residents who have received at least one dose, 55.2 percent versus 59 percent statewide.

“There are so many vaccines available at this time,” said Dr. Joshua Jakum of Piedmont Pediatrics in Warrenton. “For those who are hesitant, we hope we can answer your questions and bring you peace of mind around your decision.”

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines Orto find a free vaccine appointment, visit www.rrhd.org or vaccines.gov.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 in Virginia.
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