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Spencer County reporting the lowest vaccination rate in Kentucky

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Spencer County has the lowest vaccination rate in Kentucky with around 17% of people having received their first dose, and health officials say misinformation could be to blame.

Roanya Rice, the director of the North Central District Health Department, which serves Spencer, Shelby, Henry, and Trimble Counties told WAVE 3 News the low vaccination rate in Spencer County is a matter of interest, not access, despite the area’s rural landscape.

“I think some of it is misinformation, I think some of it is a little bit of fear of the vaccine and some hesitancy, and then some individuals have decided they’re just not going to get the vaccine right now,” Rice said.

According to Rice, the North Central District Health Department has administered more than 12,500 doses to the public with zero serious reactions. However, she told WAVE 3 News some people in Spencer County have chosen not to get the vaccine because they are misinformed about side effects.

“If you’re concerned about the vaccine, I’d recommend you do additional research to get the facts,” Rice said. “Your chances of having a reaction, a significant, serious reaction to one of the vaccines is so minute it’s worth getting the vaccine.”

The North Central District Health Department hopes to encourage more people in the community to get the shot through a new social media campaign called “#VaxMeWhy,” which shows photos of people who chose to get the vaccine and their reasons why.

In addition, the health department plans to create yard signs with actual facts about the vaccine to educate misinformed people.

“We want immunity in our community, and that means individuals have to make the choice and the decision to get vaccinated,” Rice said. “Until communities do that it contributes to the state’s overall herd immunity, and until we can get there, we really can’t get back to normal.”

On Thursday, the North Central District Health Department moved its vaccine clinic out of its central location in Shelby County, and opened four clinics in each county it serves, including Spencer County.

Rice told WAVE 3 News there are appointments available here.

There will also be a drive-thru vaccine clinic in Spencer County on May 20 from 3 to 6pm with both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No appointment is needed.

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