A total of 79% of San Francisco residents have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot and the Department of Public Health is working to boost that number with a personal touch.
A Student Vaccine Ambassador program is hiring 18-year-old high school and college students to reach out to people in neighborhoods where vaccination rates are low and have one-on-one conversations.
"We are trying to reach community who has been more hesitant to get vaccinated in neighborhoods where the COVID has had more of an impact where we are seeing more infection and lower rates of infection," said Berta Hernandez, who is leading a team of student vaccine ambassadors. "It's important because they have a lot of energy and spirit to go out and have conversations."
Former ambassadors who are San Francisco State University students say people had questions and were willing to listen.
“There were people who said, ‘no I didn't get vaccinated, I don't know where to go,’ we were like ‘let's look at the site let me sign you up,’” said former ambassador Fayeeza Shaikh.
The program manager said that since April, the student ambassadors have helped 1,000 people get vaccinated.
“We could identify with them, I'm a Latina I'm not a doctor,” said former ambassador Katherine Flores. People didn't feel like we were lying to them; they felt like we were being truthful.”
The program is hiring 15 students now to continue the program through December.
The deadline to apply is Friday.