Chippewa Valley Free Clinic gets help to educate adults on importance of vaccine up keep

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Staff at the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic say they are on a mission to improve routine vaccination rates in the region.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services awarded the free clinic a grant of $20,000 to make this happen.

“And that money will be used to educate the adults in our community about how, why and where they can get their vaccinations. Pretty much every county in the area has a rate under 80%. Which is something we want to improve through this program,” said Sidney Dickinson.

She is a UW-Eau Claire nursing student that manages the grant money for the program and said the campaign focuses on seasonal vaccines like the flu shot as well as routine vaccines like the tetanus shot and the vaccine for Hepatitis-B.

“Often, those things slip through the cracks in adulthood. There are a lot of things to manage. But, vaccinations remain important. There are a lot of things to update and keep a track of,” said Dickinson.

She said the information will come through social media, posters and even the occasional presentation at the clinic’s waiting room.

The hope is after someone learns about vaccine resources, that will get passed on by word of mouth.

“This is a community based project. So, the adults that we educate will also go on and talk to their friends, talk to their communities,” said Dickinson.

And clinic director Maribeth Woodford said they especially hope to spread the word to those eligible for services at the clinic.

“Primarily for the working poor. They have so many other things going on in their lives, and staying updated on vaccinations that are needed is just not top of mind. It’s critically important for them to stay as healthy as possible to stay thriving in their communities,” said Woodford.

Dickinson also adds that a certain demographic needs a little more help in boosting vaccination rates in their communities.

“We are specifically reaching out to community leaders in Hispanic communities. And that includes churches and our own Hispanic initiative committee that is forming here at the clinic,” said Dickinson.

Those who want to be vaccinated at the clinic can do so if they meet the income requirements set by the clinic.

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