Contra Costa County is taking unique steps to encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
With vaccine supply now outpacing demand, the county is sending ambassadors into the community to answer questions and provide information to those who might be on the fence and inviting anyone in the nation to come get vaccinated.
Contra Costa County’s community health ambassadors are hitting up local shopping centers and neighborhoods to share the importance of getting vaccinated.
"Mainly for the underserved populations, communities of color, to make sure that we break the barriers of any registration difficulties that they may have in order to be able to get their vaccine for COVID-19," community health ambassador Veronica Santana said.
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NBC Bay Area tagged along Monday as the ambassadors visited mom and pop stores and handed out flyers to let folks know a walk-up clinic opened nearby. The ambassadors said many people tell them they’ve struggled with access.
"Something as simple as not being able to register for an appointment because they don’t have an email address or just trust issues in general," Santana said.
The owner of a taco shop didn’t hesitate to let the ambassadors post a flier in his window. He said his entire staff is vaccinated, but some customers still don’t believe it’s important.
"I think they’re doing a really good job because people have to know that this is real and they’ve got to take it serious," the owner said.
The ambassadors' efforts seem to paying off. John Black said he heard about the clinic from someone on a nearby bike trail, so he peddled right over.
"Behind this mask I am grinning ear to ear," he said. "I am so happy to get this shot."
The ambassadors said they’ll continue canvassing neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, the county is now offering vaccines to anyone 16 and older no matter where they live in the entire country.
"I think it’s fantastic. It's absolutely fantastic," resident Sophia Winston said. "We need to get this vaccine out to as many people as possible and make it as easy as possible. It’s great."