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Editorial: Franklin County Health Department, partners taking COVID vaccine mobile | Opinion

Hoping to reach pockets of the population that have yet to be inoculated against the coronavirus, the Franklin County Health Department announced this week that it is teaming up with community partners to offer four walk-up vaccination clinics next month.

One hundred doses of the recently “un-paused” Johnson & Johnson Janssen single-dose vaccine will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis with no appointment necessary. Registration will be done on site.

The health department will be using the Frankfort/Franklin County Emergency Management Mobile Command Center as its home base for the off-site vaccination clinics. Currently, anyone 16 years and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The walk-up vaccination events are planned from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday at First United Methodist Church, 211 Washington St.; 1-3 p.m. on May 16 at First Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, 214 Murray St.; 9-11 a.m. May 19 at South Frankfort Presbyterian Church, 244 Steele St.; and 4-6 p.m. May 19 at Paul Sawyier Public Library, 319 Wapping St.

We commend the health department, churches and the library for collaborating on an effort to bring the coronavirus vaccine to those who may not have access to it otherwise, including high-risk, low-income, minority and essential worker populations.

Mobile clinics tackle the challenges — such as transportation and mobility issues, limited access to medical care and vaccine centers, work and family schedules — that prevent folks from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by conveniently bringing it to them.

“We look forward to serving our community and hopefully removing any technology or travel barriers by meeting the community where they are,” Brittany Parker, deputy director at the health department, told The State Journal on Wednesday.

According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, a total of 43.3{41490b4d0cf0dbc5ec3f65e11fff509c7d6ed2a53a838ebf7adf43f0908f07f3} of Franklin Countians — slightly more than 22,000 — have been fully vaccinated. While Franklin County’s percentage ranks among the highest in the state, more progress is needed. In order to reach herd immunity, 70{41490b4d0cf0dbc5ec3f65e11fff509c7d6ed2a53a838ebf7adf43f0908f07f3}-80{41490b4d0cf0dbc5ec3f65e11fff509c7d6ed2a53a838ebf7adf43f0908f07f3} of the population must get vaccinated, experts say.

Every vaccine in an arm gets us closer to being done with this pandemic, and it is our hope that FCHD continues to partner with local churches and organizations to get a vaccine to everyone who wants one.