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Lagging behind the state average, Rock County hosts clinic in Beloit to bolster vaccinations

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rock counnty vaccine clinic
Rock County Public Health hosted a free community vaccine clinic in Beloit on May 2.

BELOIT (WKOW) -- More than a third of Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, in southern Wisconsin, some counties are seeing lower rates of vaccine intake. In Rock County, around 29 percent of people have completed their vaccine series.

So Rock County Public Health is hosting a series of community vaccination clinics this month in an effort to help more people get their shot. The first clinic was Sunday in Beloit.

"There's a mix of emotions," public health nurse Falicia Martinez said. "Nobody's really excited to get a shot, so there's always going to be a little apprehension, but I think overall, the feeling is good and optimistic."

Martinez was part of the effort to spread the word about the clinic.

"I personally went around to various local businesses, churches, laundromats in the neighborhood hanging up signs this week, just trying to get out there and reach everyone that we can," she said.

Martinez told 27 News the public health department partnered with Rock County Transit to offer rides to and from the clinic for people who wanted to get vaccinated but didn't have transportation to the site.

The clinic offered both Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, but Michelle Genthe, the health and nutrition manager for Rock and Walworth County Head Start, said she's noticed more people having reservations about the single-shot vaccine since state health officials ordered a temporary pause in its use last month.

"Recently, there has [sic] been some people that have come in and been, you know, want to make sure that that's not what they're getting," she said. "There is still some nerves, which is understandable, but I think more than anything, people are just kind of ready to hopefully move on."

Federal and state health officials have said all three available vaccines, including the Johnson & Johnson shot, are safe.

Rock County Public Health is holding another free community vaccine clinic on Saturday, May 8. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rock County Jobs Center in Janesville.

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Caroline Dade

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist, 27 News

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