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QC COVID-19 Coalition: 'Vaccine affordability is not a barrier, fear is'

A group of healthcare professionals and community leaders gather daily to update the community's response to the pandemic.
Credit: WQAD

Tune into the briefing live on the WQAD Facebook page.

The QC COVID-19 Coalition is a group of healthcare professionals and community leaders who gather to address the Quad Cities' response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Check back here for key points from today's address.

QC COVID-19 Coalition briefing on how the coronavirus is currently affecting the community.

Posted by WQAD on Thursday, June 11, 2020

Janet Hill, Chief Operating Officer with the Rock Island County Health Department, said the county reported 10 new positive cases for a total of 763 reported cases of the coronavirus. Hill said 194 of those cases were associated with outbreaks at Tyson food processing plants. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 was unchanged at 28.

Ed Rivers, Director of the Scott County Health Department (SCHD) reported 399 cases of the coronavirus. The number of people who have died in the county stands at 10. Rivers said 348 people have recovered from COVID-19. 

Importance of Vaccines

The coalition discussed the importance of vaccinations as rates drop amid the pandemic; April saw the biggest decline with a 35% drop in vaccinations for children under 2-years-old and a 75% drop in vaccinations for adolescent aged children, according to Roma Taylor, the clinical services coordinator for SCHD. 

Clinicians across the Quad Cities emphasized that children are still required to be up to date on vaccines for school and that access should not be hindered by the cost.

"Affordability is not a barrier, fear is," Dr. Vikram Agrawal, a pediatrician with Unitypoint Health Trinity said. "There was an acute reduction of vaccination rates and we have to overcome this."

Dr. Gautam Kukreja with Genesis Health Group mentioned how important it is for parents to continue bringing their children in for check-ups, even amid a pandemic. 

"It's important to track the kid's growth and not miss certain things," he said. 

Kukreja said Genesis gives out around 9,000 flu vaccines each year to elementary school kids to try and help the Quad Cities achieve herd immunity against viruses.

Dr. Rebecca Hayes noted that Community Health Care in Rock Island is prepared to accept all patients regardless of insurance. Hayes said staff is on hand to discuss payment plans and affordability "should never be a barrier to come see us."

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