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Haywood Pathways Center logo

Thanks to a partnership between Haywood Pathways Center and the WCU Public Health Capstone class, members of the homeless population will be vaccinated this week.

Mandy Haithcox, Pathways center director, said a vaccine clinic has been arranged through the Haywood County Health and Human Services Department to vaccinate those who work with those experiencing homelessness as well as those experiencing homelessness.

“This group was eligible for the vaccine as of March 3,” Haithcox said, “and we are grateful.”

Haywood Pathways Center has been working with the dozen or so WCU students on a variety of projects. Most recently, students have been helping get the word out about vaccine safety since many experiencing homelessness are apprehensive about taking the shot, Haithcox said.

Nationwide, reports show those without a home are especially vulnerable to disease and often live in close quarters. Reaching them for COVID-19 vaccination presents unique challenges, especially when two doses were needed.

Garron Bradish, Haywood County interim public health director, said the newly acquired Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered during this week’s clinic.

Haithcox thanked a number of individuals who have been helping organize the vaccine clinic, including leaders at First United Methodist Church, Waynesville, where the clinic will be held, Pathways center staff, and Helping Hands of Haywood.

“They got the word out and got folks registered within 24 hours of being notified a set number of doses would be available for this group,” Haithcox said.

There will be 125 doses available for Pathways center staff and those who stay there, other members of the homeless population and community volunteers who have regularly work with them.

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