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Black Hawk County health leaders changing minds by sharing vaccine stories online

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- So far, an online, vaccine campaign by Black Hawk County Public Health seems to be well recieved among the community.

Led by Executive Director Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, the health department has interviewed all kinds of members of the communiyt to share their vaccine experience through videos posted to social media and the department's newly created YouTube page.

"Right from the beginning, really enhanced our social media presence, because we wanted to see what are some of the concerns," Egbuonye said.

Videos feature local faith leaders, lawmakers, and everyday citizens, some who can bridge language barriers. Egbuonye sees public education such as this as one of the main purposes of health departments.

"We're open to receiving calls and if people have questions that want to fact check the information, this is why you have your health department," the director said.

Currently, Egbuonye says Black Hawk County has vaccinated about 45% of its residents. The department's website shows that 81% of those 65 and older livng in the county have been vaccinated.

"We have a robust, diverse community. And so we want to make sure that our community knows that the health department we care for all people," Egbuonye said.

Irene Gonzalex, a Tyson employee, shares her personal story for getting vaccinated in Spanish.

Several videos are already on the department's YouTube, or are set to premiere in the days ahead, feature a Waterloo citizen who shares their vaccine experience in their native tongue.

In Bosnian, local contractor Kasim Mustedanadić gives his take on the COVID-19 vaccine.

WATCH: KWWL did a special report on building vaccine confidence for minorities

Overcoming vaccine hesitancy has been a priority for Egbuonye, who spoke to KWWL in previous interviews about making sure they reached those who might have been intially uncomfortable with getting a vaccine.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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