By Alexandria Hein
July 14, 2021
Health department workers and community outreach groups have kicked off a “doses to doors” COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where just 49% of residents have received at least one jab. The program, which officials say offer a convenient way for residents to get the shot without having to worry about travel, was met with mixed reaction on Twitter.
“They don’t move that fast to help people when they know a hurricane is coming,” one Twitter user wrote.
The program, which has a health professional on standby to administer a vaccine to eligible residents who want one, follows a community canvassing effort launched in May. Volunteers had been providing information about vaccines in previous weeks, focusing primarily on neighborhoods with low vaccine rates.
In nearby South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster has tried to block such door-to-door efforts, drawing a rebuke from the White House.
“The failure to provide accurate public health information, including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them to people across the country, including South Carolina, is literally killing people, so maybe they should consider that,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.
It was not immediately clear how successful the doses to doors program has been since the program launched on Monday. The county also has a home-based vaccination request form on its website. The latest update for Mecklenburg County includes data through July 7, which reported an average of 57 confirmed cases per day. As of July 7, the health department had administered 77,774 first doses of vaccine, and 72,308 second shots.
“We’re not confrontational, it’s not like you have to get the shot,” Robert Dawkins, a volunteer with Action NC, told WBTV.com. “But our job is to dispel rumors and things. We get people that will say ‘yes I will get the shot,’ but the follow-up has always been the issue. Will they go? How can we get people to go out and go? So, now that the health department is out with us, we miss that middle man.”