Your Shot Texas Boosts Vaccinations With Nonprofit Grant Cash / Public Information Service

Austin, Texas – “Your shot of Texas“Aims to fund additional nonprofit, community-based organizations for programs that improve access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The nationwide philanthropic effort has already invested $ 400,000+ across 12 organizations to fight hesitation and ensure the hardest hit communities can be vaccinated.

Lisa Reeve, director of the Area Aging Agency for the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, said her group used grant funds to create a brochure and hire a sales representative to contact unvaccinated populations, particularly senior citizens who are home-bound.

“None of the seniors knew how to navigate a computer and make an appointment,” says Reeve. “And that’s in our brochure so they know we can help anyone who needs help.”

Reeve pointed out that her group mostly helps seniors in her nine counties, but can help anyone who still needs an injection. Local organizations wishing to initiate their own program have until August 6 to apply for funding through Your Shot Texas.

In the past few days, the delta variant has pushed the COVID-19 Positivity rate to 10% in Texas, compared to less than 3% a month ago.

Brian Sasser, chief communications officer for the Episcopal Health Foundation, said grants, along with seniors and people living in rural areas, prioritize the black, Hispanic / Latin American and other populations hardest hit during the pandemic.

He added that groups that receive the money have a deep connection with their community.

“They know the people they work with, they know their needs, and they know what is stopping people from getting vaccines,” Sasser said. “These are the best people to convince those on the fence.”

In addition to the Episcopal Health Foundation, San Antonio’s Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. and the Meadows Foundation in Dallas have pooled funds to fill the void and support outreach and activities that may not be eligible for public resources. Episcopal The Health Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on health issues, mental health, philanthropy, and poverty issues. If you want to support news in the public interest, Click here.

Disclosure: The Episcopal Health Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on health issues, mental health, philanthropy, and poverty issues. If you want to support news in the public interest, Click here.

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SPRING HILL, Tennessee – Tennessee employers step up efforts to convince their employees to get vaccinated as Delta, a more contagious version of COVID-19, spreads rapidly in regions of the country with low vaccination rates.

By early July, it was more than 50% of new cases in the United States. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And in Tennessee is the state Health department reported 125 cases of the Delta variant on July 8.

Jeff Lamarche, executive director of General Motors’ Spring Hill facility, said his facility offered on-site vaccinations for employees.

“Two on-site clinics with the Murray County Health Department that brought nurses on-site provided vaccinations to several hundred on-site workers at two different clinics, so both doses were given twice,” Lamarche said.

Other employers have offered bonuses, paid time off, and other incentives to get the vaccinations, but vaccination rates continue to stall. After an analysis of the New York Times, it would take six months for Tennessee to reach 70% of adults on a dose at the current vaccination rate.

Lamarche added that despite relaxed COVID protocols nationwide, his work has been careful about letting go of masks and social distancing.

“Although the CDC changed its policy, the auto industry, essentially the Detroit Three and the UAW, stepped back and took a more cautious approach before we actually start taking our protocols back,” Lamarche said.

He acknowledged that companies are paying the cost of containing infections, but stressed that higher vaccination rates could cut spending to get operations back on track.

“During COVID, we had to deal with higher absenteeism and higher costs for the additional protocols we introduced,” Lamarche said. “There was a lot just to keep things going.”

He reported that thousands of Spring Hill plant workers have been vaccinated so far.

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Arkansas health officials urge residents who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine to change as soon as possible as the Delta variant makes its way through the state.

A little more than 35% of Arkansas residents are fully vaccinated, which means two weeks have passed since their last dose, compared to nearly half of Americans across the country.

Dr. Michelle Smith, director of the Bureau of Health Justice and HIV Elimination for the Arkansas Department of Health, said early on with vaccine rollout it was easy to reconcile people for a vaccine, but now it’s stalled.

“It’s more about persuading people and speaking one-on-one about their fears, hesitations, and the misinformation they’ve received,” said Smith.

Fewer black, brown, and indigenous residents have received the vaccine than white residents, but Smith noted that great strides have been made since the beginning. She stressed that the most important steps were to make sure people have transportation and hold clinics on the weekend or later in the evening for people who cannot miss work.

Smith added that it was important to meet the churches where they are.

“We don’t just go into a community and expect them to come to us,” noted Smith. “The church is involved in our planning from start to finish, and that’s the most important component of making sure it’s fair.”

Smith encouraged unvaccinated residents to have one-on-one meetings with their health care providers who can clear up any misinformation or misunderstanding people may have about the vaccine. She stressed that the approved vaccines are safe and protect communities, especially the elderly and the immunocompromised.

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LANSING, Michigan – A non-partisan bill before lawmakers would allow Michigan residents to buy medicines from Canada, where the prices are much lower.

If passed, patients could save anywhere from 50 to 80% on treatments ranging from diabetes to blood clots or allergies.

Melissa Seifert, assistant state director for government affairs at AARP Michigan, said before the US-Canada border closes due to COVID-19, many people in Great Lakes state will be traveling to Canada to buy prescription drugs instead of pocket go through their home insurance.

“These prices paralyze older people who live on a steady income,” said Seifert. “These recipes won’t work if you can’t afford to take them. And we’re seeing that more and more in older adults.”

Seifert pointed to data showing that EpiPens cost more than $ 600 in the US, for example, but less than half that in Canada. Xarelto, a drug used to treat blood clots, and Januvia, for type 2 diabetes, both cost more than $ 1,300 in the US, but both cost less than $ 500 in Canada.

Seifert claimed that one of the driving factors was that US drug companies set their own prices.

“Drug companies hold the patent, don’t they?” Seifert explains. “They can extend their patents for 20 years at a time by making very small changes to the prescription drug.”

She stressed that most countries do not allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise. In the USA they spend approx. $ 6 billion a year.

Senator Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, the sponsor of the law, stated that it follows FDA regulations. A rule passed by the agency last year paves the way for programs to import certain drugs as long as there is no danger to the health or safety of people.

“We already have the covenant in force,” said Johnson. “We have to go really hard on this, and we all have to do it together. It’s impartial; it only helps people. “

Johnson added that despite the support of Republican and Democratic members of the legislature, the pharmaceutical industry is cracking down on it. However, she argued that the benefits to consumers are worth it, and urged residents to reach out to their lawmakers to express their support. Disclosure: AARP Michigan contributes to our fund for reporting on health issues, decent wages / working families, and seniors. If you want to support news in the public interest, Click here.

Disclosure: AARP Michigan contributes to our fund for reporting on health issues, decent wages / working families, and senior citizens issues. If you want to support news in the public interest, Click here.

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