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Texas A&M receives grant to help end vaccine hesitancy

Posted at 6:02 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 19:38:08-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — 33-percent of Texans are not fully vaccinated.

A group at Texas A&M is trying to change that thanks to a new grant.

The National Institute of Health awarded a $50,000 supplement grant to help the A&M Peer Program educate rural communities on immunization and debunk myths to minimize vaccine hesitancy.

Counties in the Brazos Valley are seeking this support as they witness the issue firsthand.

”We’ve got right at 50 percent of our population here in Milam county that are eligible vaccinated," said Robert Kirkpatrick Executive Director of Milam County health department. "I think if the vaccine hesitancy wasn’t there our numbers would be higher,”

The peer program’s mission is to educate young individuals on bio-medicine and encourage them to take interest in their own health.

”Give the public an understanding about the biology behind how vaccines work,” said Larry Johnson, A&M professor, veterinary medicine and bio-sciences.

According to a study, fearing that COVID vaccines are not safe is the number one reason people are hesitant to get the shot.

”That is something that A&M School of Medicine has always been interested in essentially delivering good health and good health information to remoter parts of the state,” said Ian Tizard, Texas A&M distinguished professor.

The program is providing videos to young individuals in rural areas in hopes of debunking myths and minimizing hesitation.

“Anytime you can partner with someone else it gives another advantage on another perspective on the information you’re giving out and they might have a different idea on how to approach the idea,” added Kirkpatrick.

The recently authorized age group is the peer programs target audience students in grades k through 12 are provided with educational resources.

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