Central Florida counties use community outreach to ease vaccine hesitancy

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some Central Florida counties will host roundtable discussions as a way to expand access to COVID-19 vaccine information.

Some people just don’t want to get vaccinated, and that could impact local counties’ ability locally to reach what’s known as herd immunity.

In some local counties, demand continues to slowly decline.

Watch: ‘We just have to get the demand up’: Orange County officials aim to fight decreased interest in COVID-19 vaccines

Now in some parts of Central Florida, the mission is shifting even more people to smaller sites instead of the mass vaccination sites.

In addition to state-supported pop-up sites, Orange County is hosting two more mobile sites this week.

Orange County is hosting a roundtable on Monday to address vaccine hesitancy and answer questions people still have about the vaccine.

Vaccination rates in Black and Hispanic communities are still far lower, so that’s where a lot of the attention is being focused.

Watch: More children are suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19 - what are doctors doing to fight back

There is also the issue of younger people, especially those ages 25 to 54.

But the demand slowdown isn’t hitting all counties equally.

Data shows Sumter County, which has the most senior residents in Central Florida, first saw a vaccine slowdown weeks ago.

Osceola County’s health department stated it still sees all slots filled.

Watch: Seminole County sees thousands of vacant COVID-19 vaccine appointments

But hesitancy is still an issue, which is why in two weeks, officials will be hosting a roundtable similar to Orange County.

Theirs will include some community leaders who have been working on this issue as well.

They’ve also taken a cue from Orange County’s “I’ve got the shot” campaign.

They’re encouraging people to take buttons and stickers to visibly show they’ve been vaccinated, hoping it will help nudge those on the fence.

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