Reaching out: Danville pandemic navigators inform people about the COVID vaccine

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — One door at a time. With help from a state grant, an organization is reaching out to Danville’s vulnerable populations to help get more shots in arms.

“It feels awesome,” said Mary McCullough, a supervisor of Danville’s NAACP pandemic navigators. “It feels magnetic. It just feels really good to be able to serve the community. Our community.”

Knocking and talking. Members of the Danville chapter of the NAACP are going into underserved neighborhoods, starting one-on-one conversations about COVID and the vaccine.

“We’re just trying to make sure that people are safe,” said Edward Butler, the president of the NAACP Danville chapter. “We have people that, they need to be educated about the severity of COVID.”

The chapter was given more than $200,000 through Illinois’ pandemic health navigator grant program.

The group calls themselves the navigators.

From door to door, the navigators are making sure that people are informed about COVID and the vaccine.

The goal of the group is to serve the most vulnerable. Navigators have both English and Spanish speakers to reach the community.

Sometimes, they encounter people who heard misinformation about the vaccines or who may not know about some of the common side effects that can come after the shots.

“Tell me exactly what it is,” said McCullough. “Tell me how it is going to affect m body. And then they’re able to base their decision upon whether or not they get it.”

Members say they’re trying to reach as many people as possible.

“I love my people,” said Butler. “I love my people to death. Whatever I can do for my people.”

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