Hamilton County's 513 Relief Bus. Photo by: Maddy Schmidt | WCPO 9

By: Josh Bazan

NORTH COLLEGE HILL — Matthew Hughes and his entire family stopped by the Hamilton County 513 Relief Clinic in North College Hill on Tuesday. All of them were getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The family decided to get shots after noticing more and more vaccine mandates, including the one for Hughes’ new job in health care.

It was more of a nervous thing for me really,” Hughes said. “I didn’t really trust it. I don’t really like the fact of somebody telling me that I have to do it. But, unfortunately, that’s the way it is nowadays. I’m a little more comfortable with it now.”

Hamilton County is also offering Pfizer’s booster shot for those who are eligible.

It’s recommended right now for people 65 or older. The CDC says people over 18 can get a booster if they:

  • Have certain underlying medical conditions.
  • Work in high-risk settings, such as healthcare workers.
  • Live in high-risk settings.

“We try to break down any barriers that there may be to education, reluctance, hesitancy,” said Aiesha Howard, Hamilton County’s community engagement administrator with the Department of Economic Inclusion and Equity.

Vaccinations are one big piece of the 513 Relief Bus, but it also connects neighbors with financial support and other programs to get through the pandemic.

Along with at-home test kits, the assistance from Hamilton County at the bus stops includes help with rent and utility bills.

Employees are also there to explain other resources, like SNAP food benefits, Medicaid and child care support.

Howard said. “We’re not contained. We are doing our best to ensure that we hit all under-served communities.”

Vice President of Hamilton County Commission Alicia Reece describes it as “a buffet of relief,” adding, “we’re bringing the resources to the people instead of the people trying to find the resources. It’s already stressful enough.”

513 Relief Bus Schedule:

  • Sept. 29, New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Carthage from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 1, St. Peter & St. Paul United Church in Westwood from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Oct. 2, Lincoln Ware Walking Club in Roselawn from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on the 513 Relief Bus, visit https://513relief.org/bus/.

Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.

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