By Anna Caroline Baker
Oxford Community Market is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to customers in the Oxford community.
With the incentives of free frozen treats, cold brew and shopping bags, Oxford Community Market started offering free COVID-19 vaccinations at a pop-up station last week. It’s open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The market, located at the Old Armory Pavilion on University Avenue, provides healthy, locally grown food from vendors. Now, working Working with the Oxford Specialty Clinic, the market will continue its vaccination pop-up site every week.
So far, the results have been encouraging.
“Most people have chosen to vaccinate,” said Bridget Green, a nurse practitioner at the clinic. “I’ve had very few people refuse. One lady today walked away because she wanted to wait and vaccinate with her dad in Brandon (Mississippi) next week. They made a pact to go get it together, and I think that’s great.”
The main age groups showing up for the shots, she said, are college students wanting their first vaccine and older people seeking their booster.
“It’s my age group — the working, healthy distrust of the government age group that just won’t do it,” Green said., “And that’s the thing, that’s my target demographic, just middle-aged adults who maybe don’t have a good understanding of the disease and how the vaccine actually protects us.”
The site also works with non-English speaking visitors. Sarah Campbell, an instructional design and training specialist at the University of Mississippi, has volunteered as a Spanish translator at the pop-up site to help educate those whose first language isn’t English.
“We have a group that tries to make sure any nonprofit organization, school district, business, or really anyone who needs Spanish translation can get it,” Campbell said. “So we have some volunteers in the Spanish resource group…they are native speakers, professors in the Spanish department at the University.”
Other organizations are pitching in at the site. Oxsicles, a local, all-natural frozen sweet shop, is providing free popsicles to those who get vaccinated;
“The big takeaway for unvaccinated people to understand more than anything is that we are vaccinated and are still wearing masks because we want to save you,” Green said., “We wear it so you won’t get sick. It’s not so we won’t get sick anymore.”