As the number of Hoosiers who have received and plan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine rises, so does not only misinformation about the various COVID-19 vaccines, but also the need for resources to local people. Lake County’s Legacy Foundation recognized these two concerns and began to address them with a new program and website.
“When the vaccines first came out, we started to see information on social media, both factual and not,” said Maranda Fishback, community engagement coordinator for Legacy Foundation. “The state and CDC have been doing a great job getting out information about the vaccines and the virus, but locally, we still saw a disconnect.”
Legacy Foundation began to help the community outreach with a more localized approach. Working efficiently, Legacy Foundation put together a vaccine communication committee—made up of other local nonprofits in Lake County—and a website dedicated to providing Lake County residents with vital information about COVID-19 and the available vaccines at the beginning of April.
“The website acts as a hub of localized information,” Fishback said. “We have information from the state and CDC, but its primary focus is on the local resources available, whether it’s testing sites, other local nonprofits providing information, the Hoosier Homebound Program, or vaccine sites.”
The site, www.ourshot219.com, provides a number of services and informational hubs. This includes updates on eligibility, vaccine availability, testing and vaccine sites, local resources, points of contact, and more. If you're looking for a location to get tested or vaccinated, you can visit the website to find a location near you. it provides COVID-19 testing and vaccine information, locations of vaccine and testing sites, details on where and how to make an appointment, and important information about the vaccines and tests themselves.
The home page includes new updates, local numbers for the Lake County Health Department and other agencies, and even testimonials from Lake County residents who have gotten their vaccine and are excited to share it.
“The testimonials we have received have been amazing,” Fishback said. “We love the ones where someone shares how they were hesitant about the vaccine at first, but once they had the resources available to learn about the vaccines and had a chance to read up on them and the side effects, they felt ready to get it. It shows us that the work we’re doing is working.”
You can visit the website to read more COVID-19 vaccine testimonials and even share your own "reason why" here.
“We also formed the Lake County COVID-19 Communication Committee, made up of other Lake County organizations. We come together regularly to discuss what we are seeing in our communities, what additional resources our community members need in terms of vaccine outreach, and what information has come from the state and CDC,” Fishback said.
In addition to Legacy Foundation, the committee also includes local organizations such as Northwest Indiana Community Action, Food Bank of NWI, or Meals on Wheels of NWI, and more.
Legacy Foundation and its partners are continuously updating the website to include the newest updates regarding vaccines, testing, and more.
“Sometimes the state-wide programs don’t completely reach us, since we’re so far from Indianapolis,” Fishback said. “So, we’ve been really excited to be working with our fellow nonprofits in pushing out those localized resources and information. Right in the beginning, we decided to identify those various demographics based on their needs, making sure all the information we were pushing out was going to connect to each individual.”
Currently, Legacy Foundation is focusing on Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) mass vaccination site in Gary, where there are plenty of openings for vaccine appointments. The site, located at Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary (730 W 25th Ave), only offers the Pfizer vaccine, which is now available to Hoosiers who are 16 years and older. Appointments are recommended but not required and open 7 days a week, drive-thru or walk up, from 9am-7pm CST.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines and administration sites, local resources, and more, visit https://www.ourshot219.com/. For more information about Legacy Foundation, visit their website at https://legacyfdn.org/.