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Marion County health officials push for 50-percent vaccination rate by July 1

Saturday, the Marion County Public Health Department took the COVID-19 vaccine to the people, educating residents about the vaccine at a pop-up clinic.

INDIANAPOLIS — With July right around the corner, the push is on to keep getting as many Hoosiers as possible vaccinated by next month.  

The Marion County Public Health Department reported pop-up clinics, where people can walk in and register on-site, are helping get those numbers up. 

On the west side of Indianapolis Saturday, the COVID-19 vaccine came to the people.

“I just came straight over here,” said Lenithia Smith, who was one of close to 100 people who visited a pop-up vaccination clinic at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Saturday, where they offered both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

“I was scared, thinking about, ‘What am I doing? What am I getting?’” Smith admitted. “But then I thought, ‘Let’s get back to some sense of normalcy and get your life back. You can’t be scared to live.'"

Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department, was on hand for part of the clinic to talk to people about how important it is to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. 

RELATED: Latest Indiana coronavirus updates: State reports another 15K fully vaccinated, 23 more deaths

Caine hopes to have at least 50 percent of Marion County residents fully vaccinated by July 1. Right now, the numbers are somewhere around close to 40 percent. 

“Actually, some people came in and got the shot after they spoke to her. Our nurses and clinicians are well-versed and that makes people comfortable,” said Virgil Madden with the Marion County Public Health Department. 

Some admitted they were afraid before walking into the clinic, but had a completely different outlook after their visit. 

“I had hyped myself up because I was skeptical at the beginning as far as trying to get the shot, but I do encourage everybody to get the shot to help protect Indiana Hoosiers,” said Rosanna Green, who works as an event bartender and was unemployed for all of 2020. 

For Green, the vaccine represents stability and freedom. 

“By me getting this shot, I know this is the first step forward to a lot of Hoosiers getting back into the workplace and getting back to normal,” said Green. 

RELATED: Vaccine sign-up in Marion County aimed at non-English-speaking residents

For Lenithia Smith, there’s no time to be scared, she’s got too much she’s ready to go and do. 

“Now it’s like, you’re getting your life back together. Normalcy is coming back as a society. So this is more of a blessing then scariness. I think everyone just needs to come on board and do what we can to become whole again,” said Smith. 

The health department hopes the more people - like the ones who came out Saturday - talk about their vaccine experiences, the more others will be willing to get theirs. 

“There’s nothing like someone you know and you trust that tells you something and you go, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go,’” said Madden. 

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