Pittsylvania Co. sending postcards to help vaccinate rural, hard to reach homes

Coronavirus

GRETNA, Va. (WFXR) — For many rural residents without reliable internet, it can be particularly hard to make vaccine appointments.

Pittsylvania County has been making a special effort to contact hard-to-reach residents to get them vaccinated.

“I just want to be safe,” said Lillie Cline, a Danville resident who is one of 600 people vaccinated at the Gretna Community Vaccination Clinic on Friday, April 2.

“The numbers are starting to rise again. I keep up with that and different states and whatnot. And if I want to travel, I want to be very cautious.”

This clinic is unique for the health district.

“To this point, all of our community clinics have been predominantly Moderna,” said John Kent, Chief Operating Officer for Sovah Health. “Of course, Moderna requires us to do two shots. The advantage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is it is a one and done, so you get one shot and you’re immunized.”

That single shot comes in handy for hard-to-reach communities, like those in rural homes without high speed internet.

“When you have to have two sets of registration to get two different shots, that in and of itself creates a challenge,” Kent said.

As a result, the Pittsylvania County government signed people up the old fashion way: by mailing everyone north of State Route 57 a postcard.

“The postcards were unique for this particular site in Greta, and that was to help reach folks,” said Dr. Scott Spillmann, the Health Director for the Pittsylvania/Danville and Southside Districts.

“People get mail. They might not have internet, but they’ve got mail.”

The clinic will be held again on Friday, April 9.

“Please, please come and get this shot,” said Cline. “For your sake, your family’s sake, and everyone else. Please get that shot.”

Pittsylvania County-area residents can schedule an appointment for the clinic next Friday by calling (434) 432-3582

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