More than a year into our battle with the coronavirus, we have all worked hard to reduce fatality and infection rates, to re-open businesses, and to return to our churches and family gatherings.
We’ve worked to emphasize best practices, like wearing masks and social distancing.
This has been not been a sprint, it has been a marathon. Since those early days in March 2020, Shelby County has had nearly 92,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1,500 virus-related deaths.
Thankfully, with each passing day, the numbers of new coronavirus cases continue to decrease, while our vaccine numbers are on the rise.
The number of Shelby County residents who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine is now at about 250,000. But there is still so much more to be done.
We can’t let up and we must continue the course, this time by taking the vaccine.
Encouraging our friends, neighbors and loved ones to get the vaccine is now one of the most important things we can do to slow the spread of the virus.
That being said, vaccine skepticism is real. I’ll admit that I have skeptical people in my family. There are many people with justifiable questions about the new vaccines.
However, I recently took the vaccine, once I became eligible. Next, I’ll be working to make sure all of my family gets the vaccine as well.
To that end, we need to find more people, ambassadors, who will be willing to inspire others to get vaccinated. That’s why I’ve launched the COVID-19 Community Council.
The best strategy to make sure that everyone in our community considers receiving a vaccine is through peer-to-peer influence. The idea is that people listen to their friends, family and neighbors. People are motivated most by what the folks in their lives are doing because they respect and value the opinions of the trusted people who surround them.
The council will include up to 40 ambassadors from all walks of life, but with a shared goal to help significantly increase the number of Shelby County residents who choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
We want to find people who are willing to volunteer in various capacities to support the COVID response. We want the ambassadors to communicate within their networks to provide the most relevant and accurate information about the coronavirus, about the vaccine and how to access available resources.
Our goal is simple.
We want to expand community involvement in the COVID response, in particular the importance of the vaccine.
Applications are now available. Go to www.shelbycountytn.gov/mayors-community-council to apply.
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