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Independence County creates COVID-19 vaccine task force – KLRT –


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BATESVILLE, Ark. – Governor Hutchinson has been holding his Covid Community Conversations across Arkansas to answer questions and dispel misinformation, but in some of his recent stops, it has inspired calls to action.

“And so they figure out ways in their local community that they can spur on additional vaccination,” Governor Hutchinson said.

After the governor stopped in Batesville, county leaders decided to form their own task force to reach out to the rural parts of the county.

“We needed to focus on the rural areas and get those people educated and vaccinated,” task force member Steve Bryant said.

Bryant is also a pharmacist in Batesville at Bryant’s Pharmacy and Health Care Center.  He said their task force meetings is doing much of the same things the governor is doing. 

They are also dealing with much of the same issues the Governor is also.

“The main thing is to try to disprove some of the myths and things that people see and hear on the internet,” Bryant explained.

Bryant said they have had some events so far and they have been fairly successful.  Attendance has been around 30 at each site and approximately 10 people at each event have decided to get vaccinated.

Bryant hopes they can educate and put people at ease about the vaccine and hopes it does not take a harsher life experience in order to do so.

“Unfortunately we don’t want to get to the point where people dying is what convinces somebody to roll their sleeve up and take the shot,” he said.

Bryant reminds people there is nobody at the county level trying to hide or gain anything from the situation and just want to see people be healthy. 

He said achieving herd immunity for those who may not be able to take the vaccine for various reasons is paramount to beating the pandemic. 

Bryant said he is delighted every time someone who may have been hesitant to take the vaccine decides to do so.

“Every single person that gets vaccinated is important,” he said.

The next Independence County Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force event is set for July 29th at 6:30 PM and will be held in three different locations throughout the county: the Bethesda Area Volunteer Fire Department, The Cushman Volunteer Fire Department, and the Ruddell Hill Fire Department.

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