“I chose to get the vaccine because I don’t want to get sick.” “I got vaccinated for my grandchildren.”
These are some of the voices local residents will hear in a new video series produced by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District. The videos aim to inform and answer questions for individuals who may feel hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. They are being shared on the Rappahannock-Rapidan Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RappRapHD/, and you can view the video series www.vaccinatepiedmont.com.
Supported in part by the PATH Foundation, the video series features testimonials from patients, doctors and community leaders who have received the shot.
One of those leaders is Alex Smith, Worship Leader and Director at Culpeper Baptist Church.
“As we all know, this past year has been very challenging and tough for many of us,” Smith says in one video. “If you’ve lost someone, like I have, you know the importance of getting the COVID vaccine, so we can all get back to some sort of normalcy.”
The videos are meant to address several concerns expressed by community members: some may be worried about the efficacy of the vaccines, while others harbor concern over potential side effects.
Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Population Health Coordinator April Achter emphasizes that vaccines are not only safe, but an essential part of returning to pre-pandemic life.
“We know it has been a difficult year, and that many may feel uncertainty about the vaccination process. By sharing science and real-life experiences from folks who have been vaccinated, these videos will help reassure our community that the shots are safe and effective,” Achter said. “Vaccines are our best shot at normalcy, and keeping our families and communities safe.”
As vaccination rates have increased in the district, vaccine doses have become more widely available, with many locations offering walk-in vaccine appointments.
“There are so many vaccines available at this time,” said Dr. Joshua Jakum of Piedmont Pediatrics. “For those who are hesitant, we hope we can answer your questions and bring you peace of mind around your decision.”
For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.