Dayton, Montgomery County take vaccine clinics out to community to reach minorities

Dayton and Montgomery County are leading the state in getting vaccines in the arms of Black people, including at clinics out in the community.

Gov. Mike DeWine visited a coronavirus vaccination site Monday morning at Bethesda Temple on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. where 650 people were getting their shots. He praised the work of the city, county and Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County.

“They are really focused on trying to make sure that everybody in the community who wanted the shot has the opportunity to get a shot,” DeWine said.

Explore25% of Public Health’s COVID vaccine to go to minority clinics to promote health care equity

Montgomery County has one of the highest vaccination rates for African Americans in the state, according to Ohio Department of Health data. About 9% of the Black population in Montgomery County is vaccinated.

Black residents make up about 21.5% of Montgomery County’s population but about 13% of COVID-19 vaccines in the county have gone to Black residents, according to the ODH.

Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County is allocating 25% of its COVID vaccines for minority health outreach clinics in an effort to close the vaccination rate gap between white and minority residents.

“I’m very proud that our community has the highest African American vaccination rate in the state, and grateful for the hard work of so many people in Dayton to make it happen. COVID-19 has devastated Black communities all around Ohio, but communities like ours show that when we work together we can find a way out of this crisis” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley in an emailed statement.

Another minority health clinic is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at Bethesda Temple. Call (937) 225-6217 to schedule an appointment.

The cities, county and public health department are all working well together, DeWine said, including on reaching out to the community and church leaders in the Black community.

“Taking the sites to the people, or the community, there’s just absolutely no substitute for that,” the governor said. “All hands on deck is really the message, I say, if we’re going to reach everybody,” DeWine said.

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Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald thanked Bethesda Temple for hosting because it is a trusted place for many in the surrounding community.

“We know this is where we trust, where we get our information and we know this is who has our best interest at heart,” McDonald said.

Tracey Edwards got her first shot on Monday even though she was still a little skeptical of the vaccine.

“I’m still not totally confident,” Edwards said. “I don’t like being the first to take the vaccine or any medicine.”

Edwards said she decided to get the vaccine after some convincing from her friends and family. The 62-year-old Jefferson Twp. resident said she would advise others to seriously consider the shot.

“It’s not going to keep you totally safe, you still have to wear a mask and social distance. It’s like anything, you have to follow what the doctor says to do or it is not going to work,” she said.

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Retired Dayton Public Schools teacher Ulysses S. Grant Jr., 65, said he made the decision to get the vaccine after someone with the church contacted him about it.

He said he didn’t have any trouble getting an appointment. Grant said he had been teaching and tutoring his grandkids when schools were closed. He said getting the vaccine is a personal choice.

“You have to decide, with all the past deaths, people getting sick and going to the hospital and never coming home … I’d rather be on the positive side than the negative side of history,” Grant said.

Grant said his lifestyle won’t change after he gets the vaccine. He plans to continue wearing a mask and social distancing until the COVID cases come down.

“This is only added value,” Grant said.

Retired Dayton Public Schools teacher Ulysses S. Grant Jr. received his COVID-19 vaccination at the Bethesda Temple vaccination site on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. Monday morning, March 8, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Retired Dayton Public Schools teacher Ulysses S. Grant Jr. received his COVID-19 vaccination at the Bethesda Temple vaccination site on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. Monday morning, March 8, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Haskle Buford, a 61-year-old who lives in Dayton, got his first coronavirus vaccine Monday morning. Buford said it is better to be safe than sorry.

“I’ve got 18 grandkids and six great-grandkids. I can’t wait to get them all in a big hug,” Buford said. “I have only been able to see them at a distance for a year now.”

Buford said he would encourage anyone to “just take the vaccine.”

“A vaccine is a vaccine,” he said.

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As of Sunday, 1,970,238 people in Ohio have started the vaccine and 1,109,674 are finished with the vaccine, according to the Ohio Department of Health. About 17% of the state is vaccinated.

“It is pretty universal that the people who are getting the shots are very happy,” DeWine said in Harrison Twp. “They really look at this as an opportunity to expand their freedom. Some of them talked about spending more time with family members, a mother, father, grandchildren.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is in Dayton this Monday morning, March 8, 2021 visiting the Bethesda Temple vaccination site on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is in Dayton this Monday morning, March 8, 2021 visiting the Bethesda Temple vaccination site on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF