ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The 123rd Lilac festival kicked off this weekend with some changes due to COVID-19 restrictions, and some health groups are took advantage of public opportunity by setting up a clinic and trying to get people vaccinated.
The festival will be held during three consecutive weekends in May and different areas of the park have different COVID-19 restrictions.
Masks and social distancing are required, but one tent is trying to bring as many people in as possible for a free Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
“Having it here when you’re here with your family, out here enjoying the lilac festival and oh by the way, there’s the vaccine tent, couldn’t ask for more ease for people,” Lisa Lehning, VA finger lakes health care system vaccine coordinator, said.
The Monroe County Department of Public Health, Veteran’s Affairs office, and Common Ground Health partnered for the clinic which is giving out Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
Some of the afternoon was spent answering questions about the recent Pause.
“I have a daughter who’s in college and yes I support her getting J&J and she did. And she said, mom but they paused. And I said it’s okay, it’s a very, very rare,” Kathy Hiltunen, manager nursing services at the Department of Public Health.
Less than half of residents in Monroe County have completed their vaccination series, and health leaders say have a booth at a popular event is key to educating unvaccinated people who may have questions.
“We had a few individuals that hadn’t been vaccinated who were actually on the fence about getting vaccinated. but ended up going over and getting vaccinated. So just being able to interact with people face to face,” Jackie Dozier, Program manager at Common Ground Health, said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated come out and get vaccinated and enjoy the Lilac Festival.”
The vaccination tent is right by the parking lot as you enter the Lilac Festival on South Avenue. It will be there every Saturday and Sunday the festival is running.