Will County takes personal approach to increase vaccination rate

WILL COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Warehouse employees in Will County say they have worked in close quarters throughout the pandemic, and they are among those most at risk from people who have not been vaccinated. So they are taking the message of the importance of vaccination door-to-door.

"It takes a lot of one-to-one conversations to address these issues," said Vinita Voss, Will County's vaccine equity manager.

Will County health officials said they are trying to overcome mistrust and misconceptions about the safety of the vaccine, particularly in Black and brown communities.

"Working with community-based organizations, they'll have the best success because they have already built trust in those communities," said Rachel Ventura, Will County Board member.

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In the Latino community, there are also other concerns about immigration status.

"A large portion of the Latino population is undocumented and they have the fear if they get the vaccine they will go through their record and check documentation," said Felix Ortiz, with the warehouse workers union.

The health department has hosted numerous vaccination clinics in the county and they have been largely successful.

According to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health, Will County ranks as the third most vaccinated county in the state, though IDPH said that number is still slightly less than half the population, with about 49% fully vaccinated.

Health department officials are trying to get to a 100% vaccination rate, which is why they're trying the more personal approach.

"Just saturating the community with information that is factual so they can get the truth," said Voss.

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