Governor Cooper makes a stop in Kinston for local vaccine clinic

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT)- Governor Cooper traveled to Kinston today for a special Covid-19 clinic hosted by Kinston Teens where he spoke about the importance of community involvement in public healthcare.

The governor said he has been following the work of Kinston Teens for the past few years. In his speech, he expressed his gratitude to the organization as well as healthcare workers.

“And I’ll take a minute too, to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the healthcare workers, who have been on the frontline, who are having to shoulder a lot of the burden,” said Cooper during his speech.

Chris Suggs is the found of Kinston Teens. He says, the goal of this event is to get closer to vaccine equity.

“Black and brown communities, so lower income communities weren’t having as much access to the vaccine as everyone else, especially when there were long waits to get vaccinated or folks couldn’t find an appointment,” said Suggs.

Suggs added their goal as an organization is to bridge that gap in the community, by making vaccines more accessible to all.

Cooper had a lot to say on the continued importance of getting vaccinated and boosted.

“It can be a real love letter to health care workers to get vaccinated and boosted, showing them that you care, and that you do not want to be one to come and put extra burden on them, because the fact remains… the vast majority of people who die from COVID, who go to the hospital, and go to the ICU are people who are unvaccinated,” said Cooper.

Suggs said having the governor there really meant a lot the organization.

“We’re grateful that Governor Cooper has been a friend to Kinston and Kinston Teens, and that he decided to really see, first-hand how important it is for community organizations to be involved in this public health fight,” he said.

Cooper also explained the importance of community organized healthcare events like this when it comes to diminishing vaccine reluctance.

“And some people who are unsure, can be persuaded by Chris’s voice, or one of these other teen’s voice over mine, because people are trusted in the community, and that’s why I’m so glad that Kinston Teens is here to do this,” said Cooper.

Before his speech, the governor spent a large amount of his time personally thanking the healthcare workers, which they said, really meant a lot to them.

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