Dispelling the Confusion: ElderSource and AHEC Offer COVID Information Workshops

CLAY COUNTY – Misinformation about the COVID-19 virus and vaccine is often a reason some people do not get the vaccine. The Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center, with funding from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs via ElderSource, wants to help increase immunization rates by offering free workshops to break myths and eliminate doubts about COVID vaccines.

Free workshops are offered every alternate Monday at Community Health Outreach, 5126 Timuquana Road in Jacksonville, and every alternate Tuesday at the Daily Manna Serving Center, 2659 Edison Ave. in Jacksonville. However, community and church leaders are encouraged to contact AHEC to schedule sessions. English and Spanish speaking facilitators are available to present courses in Clay, Duval, Baker, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

Each session presents general facts about the COVID-19 virus, health impacts and long-term effects as well as information on how the vaccine works in the body and possible side effects. Facts and myths about the vaccine and how to overcome vaccine hesitancy will be presented. Most of the workshops also offer the opportunity for participants to get vaccinated on site, said Tonia Harris, AHEC Executive Director.

“For the past month or so, I have been in the community to listen to people talk about why they are afraid of getting the vaccine,” Harris said. “Their fear is real, but I think this workshop can have a positive effect on their understanding of the virus and the vaccine; and we hope we can allay their fear of changing their mind.

ElderSource has been fortunate to receive significant funding from state and federal sources to promote the importance of getting vaccinated, said Linda Levin, CEO of ElderSource. “These workshops are an essential part of providing timely and accurate information to the community. “

For more information or to schedule a workshop, call AHEC at 888) 784-8486.

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