Most Lakeway Area nonprofit organizations are encouraging COVID-19 vaccination shots, but mandating them, according to an informal survey conducted by the Citizen Tribune.
Some organizations have already gotten access to the shots while others are awaiting their opportunity.
Click here for the state's vaccine eligibility tool.
ALPS Adult Day Services Executive Director Mahon Fritts said that most of his staff and just under half of the clients who attend there have been vaccinated.
“We actually got our clients moved into 1-A and they scheduled shots as soon as possible,” Fritts said. “Some have reservations about taking the shots, but getting them are a personal choice.”
As of Friday, Fritts said that 70 percent of the ALPS staff and 40 percent of the clients have gotten the shots.
“We will certainly try to encourage those to get this done because it’s the only way that we’re going to get through this,” Fritts said.
As for the flu, Fritts said that the precautions that people have taken have helped keep the flu down so far this year.
“The flu hasn’t spread due to a cut down on travel,” Fritts said.
At the Daily Bread Community Kitchen, President Larry Shropshire is strongly encouraging his staff and volunteers to get the shots.
“I’m telling all of our staff to get the shots if they can,” Shropshire said. “It’s not mandatory, but it’s up to each individual. I think it’s a good thing and I hope that it helps us not to have any issues.”
Shropshire said that because the Daily Bread is a restaurant, surfaces are kept clean and the staff regularly washes hands.
“There’s been no COVID-19 on our staff,” he said. “When people come in, they get their temperature checked first. The volunteers have been wonderful and have stepped up to do what they’ve needed to do.”
Ashley Hux, executive director of Morristown-Hamblen Central Services, wants her staff to research the vaccine before deciding whether to have it administered.
“At this point, I’m in the mind of telling everyone to talk to their doctor and to do the research,” Hux said. “I encourage people to do what they want to do at this point. It’s been pretty effective. Follow through with what they’re comfortable with.”
Hux said that the information she has received on the vaccine is that it is effective.
“We have had no issues. We’ve been very blessed. Since it’s started, any cases have been spaced out,” she said.
Hux said that Central Services are still following all safety protocols.
“As the vaccine rolls out, I’ll probably have people who want to participate in it in hopes that we’ll get a little more of a handle on it and hopefully resume a little more normalcy,” she said.
Carolyn Jarnagin, founder/president of Food on Foot, are waiting to see if the ministry needs the shots.
“We’re waiting on the shots and for the state to tell us if they are available,” Jarnagin said. “No one has contacted us yet. I also contacted my doctor to see if they were available. As soon as they contact us about the shots being available, Bobby and I will get them.”
Jarnagin said that the ministry is still taking precautions, including wearing rubber gloves, face masks and disposable surgical gowns.
Tonya Polidoro, executive director of The Ministerial Association Temporary Shelter, said that MATS has left inoculations of the COVID-19 vaccine to individual choice.