Hamilton County Hopes That Block Parties Will Lead To More “Shots In The Arm”

New numbers from this past week show that almost 60 percent of Hamilton County residents have only partial, or no vaccination protection from the coronavirus.

So with that, the local “medical community” is trying everything it can to increase the vaccination rate.

That includes throwing a block party.

At the East Chattanooga Community Center Saturday, there was food, music, dancing and even face painting.

Just a new way, a different way, to get people vaccinated from the virus.

“People face barriers we hadn’t thought about,” according to Maeghan Jones of the Community Foundation.  “Work barriers, child care, concerns about getting sick. We can talk with people and try to put the vaccine into the community.”

This is the third block part held by the “Get Vaccinated Chattanooga Team.”

There’ll be two more this month alone. Targeting specific zip codes.

And understanding that so much of what we know…..is changing on the fly.

“At this point, it’s gonna take one-on-one conversations,” says Patrick Ellis, the Director of Pharmacy at CGI Memorial.  He says the days of mass vaccination events have come and gone.

“So what we’re left with now are people who have legitimate questions.”

“First of all, as a pastor, I can’t tell you how many funerals I’ve done,” says pastor Ternae Jordan.  “Whatever it takes to get vaccines in arms, we must do it. We, as a community, gotta do what we gotta do.”

Saturday’s block party lasted four hours. 26 people received their first vaccination.

Doesn’t seem like a lot, but as community leaders say, that’s 26 more than we had before.

The “vaccination team” will hold its next block party this coming Saturday from 10 to 2, in the parking lot of Calvin Donaldson Elementary.

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