Enhance the conversation

The Clarion County Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Clarion Hospital and our community partners, is proud to introduce Enhance the Conversation, a weekly column featuring local perspectives aimed to address COVID-19 vaccination in Clarion County.

This feature seeks to provide locally-sourced, fact-based information for those who still may be considering vaccination.

The national conversations surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines can be described in many colorful tones. Descriptions range from jubilant and full of relief, to skeptical and downright opposed.

Such a wide range of opinions and perspectives can no doubt result in a schism, which generally have come to fruition at all levels. Locally, that schism is evident.

Percentages

As of July 10, the state Department of Health reported 12,951 Clarion County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 1,534 are reported to be partially vaccinated. In total, 37 percent of all Clarion County residents are reported to have received full or partial vaccination.

By any estimate, 37 percent is considered a low percentage compared to overall population, far from the 70-85 percent that is recommended by the CDC to effectively protect a community from COVID-19 and future variants.

Enhance the Conversation

Just as COVID-19 has touched everyone in one shape or form, the idea of considering vaccination has done the same. Perceiving the vaccination conversation as one between two opposing camps pro and anti is misleading. Outside of the established camps remains a large percentage of people who care deeply for the wellness of their community, family, and themselves.

As many within this percentage grapple with the decision, Enhance the Conversation seeks to offer helpful perspectives from trusted, local institutions.

To be plain, the CCEDC, nor any other contributor, does not seek to pressure, coerce, or fear-bait anyone into choosing vaccination. The choice, as it always has, remains with each individual.

The concern with our county's low percentage rests with the flurry of misinformation that, like COVID-19, has spread through communities across the United States at an alarming rate.

This misinformation has been very effective at inducing doubt, skepticism, and distrust in our medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnological communities.

As an organization tasked with ensuring Clarion County has better days ahead, the CCEDC is compelled to address this misinformation.

Each week, Enhance the Conversation will feature a different local perspective, including Clarion Hospital and Clarion University.

Clarion County is fortunate to have a great number of community-minded organizations. Our community is stronger when residents are informed, not just simply with the facts but also with the stories and accounts from within those organizations.

As many continue to consider vaccination, it is our hope that Clarion County residents will have the opportunity to hear from local leaders that they know and trust and can gain a more holistic understanding of vaccination for our county and community.

The Clarion County Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization. It supports the local economy by attracting wealth-generating companies to the region and by connecting local businesses with resources they need to grow and thrive.

The opinions and statements made in this feature are those of the authoring organization and not necessarily those of the CLARION NEWS.