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Hopkins County Health Department begins mobile vaccinations

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) — Residents in Hopkins County now have an easier way to get a vaccine. County officials packed up the vials and needles and took the vaccine to the people instead of waiting for the people to come to them.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Hopkins County Health Department Director Denise Beach. “Our first event is actually the COVID-19 vaccinations today, so we’re really thankful to have it and glad that it was grant provided.” 

The county purchased the van with grant money to conduct public health outreach, including giving vaccinations in the community.

The van is outfitted with refrigeration and water, but it has more than just a one-use. Officials say they plan on using it for numerous community programs in the future.

The van comes at a critical time in the pandemic, with case numbers dropping locally but health officials say they are beginning to see an alarming trend – a large uptick in the number of children getting the virus. 

“In the last couple of weeks we have started to have people having family get-togethers and starting to get out and about again,” Beach said. “We have had to quarantine big groups and families and unfortunately we are seeing more children with COVID.” 

Officials say there is a growing push to get the African American community vaccinated, and they say the van will help with that. 

Hopkins County was a hotbed for the virus in the early days of the pandemic and some who got their shot at the van say other residents still aren’t following the rules.

“To me it’s common sense, do what the professionals say, I’m not a doctor and I’m not a healthcare professional, therefore I seek the guidance of those people and I’m just seeing way too many people who are ignoring it,” said Madisonville resident Andy Thomison. 

Overall, Thomison says the van allowed him to get the vaccine efficiently and allowed him to get in and out quickly. 

“I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to get this done and they have this mobile unit here that’s really pretty cool and kudos to them,” Thomison said. “I don’t see why people have not been doing what has been recommended to do.” 

The Hopkins County Health Department has a schedule on its website of where the bus will be on scheduled days. Click here to visit the site.

(This story was originally published on March 22, 2021)