Fighting Mistrust about Vaccines in the Rural Georgia

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Our first episode shines a spotlight on a health center deep in America's Bible Belt. Albany Area Health Center serves a rural Georgia county that ranked 4th in the world for COVID-19 deaths per capita last summer. Their effort to battle the pandemic brought out the best in their community, but now they face the daunting challenge of vaccinating people who are undecided about the benefits of the vaccine. Hear how they’re approaching the next phase in the pandemic.

Key Takeaways: 0:00 Intro 1:18 Amy shares a short clip created by staff members from Albany Area Primary Health Care explaining how the pandemic hit them unexpectedly 2:43 Ronda shares a little bit of history about their health center, the population, whom they serve, and the challenges they have faced for the past 18 months addressing the pandemic 4:13 Ronda also talks about how far the nearest health center was to them and who they really are 4:57 Pam talks about what she was thinking and feeling when the pandemic started to spread in their center quickly and they were in a good position before then 5:54 Ronda talks about why the State of Georgia has one of the lowest vaccination rates for Covid when they are declared an epicenter of Covid 7:48 Pam also shares some of the reasons she feels the State of Georgia has the lowest vaccination rates for Covid 9:37 Ronda and Pam talk about the number of vaccines they think they have administered already 10:21 Ronda also talks about how the vaccination hesitancy in the people that come to them to get vaccinated looks like and what they do to help them get over it 12:16 Ronda and Pam explain why it’s the conversation that they have with people to help them get over the fear of being vaccinated that works and not one message 14:25 Pam talks about if having conversations with the community about the vaccine helped to get rid of the misinformation that they had about the vaccine 15:55 Ronda and Pam talk about the Pfizer vaccine for 12 and older people and the strategies that they are using to reach this population 17:25 Pam talks about the passionate group of physicians and nurses who are volunteering to partner with the health center to do the work 19:40 Ronda talks about switching from the mass vaccination site model to bringing shots to where the people are and how effective it is and if people are still coming to them 22:02 Pam shares her thoughts on the Biden Administration wanting to get about 70% of the Americans vaccinated by July fourth and if that will be possible 24:17 Ronda also shares her thoughts on if it will be possible for the Biden administration to vaccinate about 70% of the Americans by July fourth 27:20 Ronda and Pam talk about what they feel they bring to the table as a health center that is so important for a successful vaccination process 30:28 Pam shares the advice that she gives to the people who come to the health center for information and they are listening while they are on the fence 31:34 Ronda also shares her advice to people who are hesitant of getting the vaccination and what they should do 32:38 Pam and Ronda share some of their low and high points as providers and volunteers in the past 18 months of fighting the pandemic

Shows Mentioned: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is a better way to health and wellness. Our comprehensive network of physicians, nurses, and staff at three hospitals and more than 20 clinics delivers high-quality healthcare to the residents across Southwest Georgia.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation headquartered on 42nd Street in Manhattan, New York City. The name of the company commemorates its co-founder, Charles Pfizer.

Quotes Mentioned: “The driving factor to get vaccinated or to not get vaccinated has been fear.” “There’s no amount of education or information you can give to someone that fearful that's going to change their mind.” “Everything’s very doable if you put enough energy into it.” “You have to be innovative and creative to get patients involved in their care.” “An informed decision is the best decision.”

Guests Social Media Links: Ronda Arline LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronda-arline-8a36a21b2/ Website: https://aaphc.org/

Pam Reynolds Website: https://aaphc.org/

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