Coronavirus Skagit

MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon First United Methodist Church and Skagit County Public Health are teaming up Saturday to host a free question-and-answer session in English and Spanish about COVID-19 vaccines.

The event will be at 5 p.m. at the church, 1607 E. Division St., in Mount Vernon. No registration is required.

The county’s lead vaccine nurse and Spanish-speaking staff will answer questions and provide information about the vaccine. For those who speak neither English nor Spanish, a promotora will provide information in Mixtec.

Staff from the Children’s Museum of Skagit County will provide kids’ activities during the event.

Debbie Grant, faith in action coordinator at First United Methodist Church, said the church approached the county with the idea for the question-and-answer session after seeing a need for more vaccine outreach in the Latino and Hispanic community.

She said the aim is to provide information in Spanish about the vaccine from a trusted medical professional.

“The ultimate goal is with that information, these families can make the decisions to keep their families healthy and come back the following Saturday night when we host a pop-up vaccination clinic,” Grant said.

Skagit County Public Health will hold the pop-up vaccination clinic from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the church.

To get the word out, the church created fliers in Spanish and posted them at local businesses. In addition, Grant said the church’s Hispanic minister and another individual walked through local neighborhoods last weekend to distribute the fliers.

Danica Sessions, spokesperson for Skagit County Public Health, said the county would like to host more question-and-answer sessions about COVID-19 vaccines.

She said such conversations go a long way in helping overcome vaccine hesitancy, or even objections to the vaccine.

“You can really engage with that individual, ask what their concerns are, and have a compassionate and very individualized conversation,” she said.

Sessions said the county is offering $25 Mastercard gift cards to those who attend Saturday’s question-and-answer session.

Vaccines are free and available to those 12 and older. No insurance is needed.

As of Monday, 67.3% of the eligible population in Skagit County had initiated vaccination, and 61.1% were fully vaccinated, according to the most recent data available from the state Department of Health.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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