NEW HOULKA, MISS. (WCBI) – There can be many obstacles for rural residents when it comes to getting the Covid 19 vaccine. But one organization is doing what it can to help make the process easier for people throughout rural Northeast Mississippi.
People began lining up early Wednesday at the GSV Care Medical Clinic to get the vaccination. It’s part of an effort by a Tupelo based nonprofit to help bring the vaccine to people in rural areas.
Eighty-one-year-old Annie Foy doesn’t have her own transportation to get to a vaccine site, and when she tried to schedule a vaccine online there was always one problem.
“Every time you tried to get one, it was always full, you couldn’t get one,” Foy said.
So when she had an opportunity to ride with a group of senior citizens to New Houlka for a vaccine, she didn’t hesitate.
“It’s important to get the vaccine because we need these numbers and things to do down,” she said.
It is people like Mrs. Foy that Project ELECT is trying to help. ELECT is an acronym for “Enthusiastic Leaders Engaged in Challenging Times ” The nonprofit works to connect people and organizations to other community groups. Members of Project ELECT heard that there was a need for the vaccines in Chickasaw County, so they contacted the GSV Care Medical Clinic, and helped make it happen.
Like many people, Project ELECT member Maurice Shumpert was reluctant to take the vaccine. But after talking with medical professionals, decided to get the shot.
“I’m already pretty healthy, no underlying conditions, I don’t even take any kind of prescriptions or anything, I took it mainly, not for me, but people I come in contact with, to keep them safe,” Shumpert said.
Manda Griffin is a nurse practitioner at the clinic. She says it’s important to make sure the vaccine is widely distributed across the state.
“Finding a place that’s close, they can go and get the vaccine, that’s been an issue, people getting to different places that may offer the vaccine,” Griffin said.
Project ELECT hopes this will be the first of many similar outreaches to help those in rural areas get the vaccine.
A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 15 percent of rural residents would probably not get a safe Covid 19 vaccine if it was available. Sixty-five doses were given at the New Houlka Clinic.