HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – Hanover County leaders are making another special push to get seniors vaccinated. This time, they are focusing on seniors 65 or older.

This additional push comes as medicareadvantage.com recently released a study showing 24,000 Virginia seniors are choosing not to get the vaccine because they’re concerned the vaccination may not be free.

Officials in Hanover County recently sent out a letter to minority communities, educating them that COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in United States history. They’re not only educating that community but also seniors who may also be concerned about the vaccine.

Residents of Hanover County that are 65 or older and are pre-registered for the COVID-19 vaccine, can call the Chickahominy Health District’s call center starting Monday, March 22 in order to schedule an appointment. Previously, residents needed to wait for the health district to call them in order to get vaccinated.

Chickahominy Health District director Dr. Tom Franck said several health districts across Virginia are now opening their call centers up to seniors now that they’re vaccinating the rest of Phase 1b.

He said the Chickahominy Health District has worked alongside several organizations like the Goochland NAACP, holding video conferences and other things to educate seniors about the vaccine itself.

Dr. Franck said the main concern for seniors is whether or not the vaccine costs anything.

“One of the concerns has to do with the cost. There are some people out there who are unaware that this vaccine is free. It doesn’t require health insurance; it doesn’t require any cost at all. It’s free for everybody in the United States and everybody in Virginia,” Dr. Franck said.

As the vaccine rollout continues, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports some people may get emails or calls from someone claiming to be from a medical office requesting personal information.

Dr. Franck said the Chickahominy Health District has given at least one vaccine dose to over 72% of those 70 or older in the district.

They’re hoping to vaccinate at least 75% of people in the district by the end of May, which would help them to reach herd immunity.

Last week, like the Chickahominy Health District, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) said they will also allow seniors, 65 years and older to call their COVID-19 hotline to schedule an appointment.

The non-profit organization, Senior Connections, is helping with outreach, information, registration and transportation for seniors to and from vaccination sites. Seniors in need can call (804) 343-3000 to request assistance.