Oakland County Student Ambassadors Roll Up Sleeves for COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign

Fifteen-year-old Sparsh Shrivastava hears about the deaths: aunts, uncles and other loved ones in India becoming victims of COVID-19.

“My parents are from India, and the pandemic has touched our extended family many times. So, I’ll do everything I can to encourage people in Michigan and across the U.S. to get vaccinated so the tragedies in India don’t happen here,” said Shrivastava, a Troy High School junior.

This is a sponsored post written by our friends at Oakland County and the Oakland County Health Division’s Covid-19 Vaccine Hub and not necessarily the view of Oakland County Moms

Shrivastava is one of the teens recruited in June by the Protect Michigan Commission as a Michigan COVID-19 student ambassador. The goal is for students like Shrivastava to promote vaccination among their peers in every corner of the state.

Oakland County continues to boast one of the best vaccination rates in Michigan and is nearing the 70% benchmark President Joe Biden has set for the nation to reach by July 4.

As of June 30, the state’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard reports well over 1.3 million doses given to Oakland County residents. Here is how that breaks down:

• Two out of every three Oakland County residents who are 16 or older have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
• Two out of every five residents 12-15 years old has also received at least a first dose.
• More than 84% of Oakland County senior citizens have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Now that vaccines have been approved for anyone over the age of 12, our vaccination rate is climbing,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “But the pace has slowed in recent weeks, so we all need to keep pushing to get our residents vaccinated so everyone can get back to normal.”

The county needs 31,300 more residents 12 years and older to get COVID-19 immunizations to reach the 70% milestone. [The State of Michigan’s measure for the milestone is 16+. If we were to go by that, it’s 13,400 more residents].

As older people are increasingly protected by vaccination, younger individuals – including children – are still testing positive, and some are hospitalized with severe illness.

“People have this sense that kids can’t get sick, or they can get sick but don’t die. That’s just false,” said Dr. Russell Faust, medical director for Oakland County Health Division.

As parents and their eligible children are vaccinated, they are helping reduce the spread of COVID-19, said Leigh-Anne Stafford, Oakland County’s Health and Human Services director.

The Protect Michigan Commission partnered with Oakland County recently to promote a new vaccine campaign called “One by one.” The promotion features vaccinated Oakland County residents encouraging others to do the same.

The campaign launch included the vaccination of Shrivastava and six other Oakland County COVID-19 student ambassadors: Weizhe Xu, Jacob Azar, Rhea Hede, Andrew Meng, Arjun Manyem and Emily Lockwood.

Shrivastava said he’s ready to join with his fellow ambassadors and encourage all Michigan teens to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.

“People are dying from COVID, even though it’s so easy to prevent with just two doses of a vaccine,” he said.

OAKLAND COUNTY MOMS FAMILY HEALTH ARTICLES

If you live or work in Oakland County, visit OaklandCountyVaccine.com to make a vaccination appointment at one of several clinic locations. Most clinics also take walk-ins.

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