ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Southwest Public Health District will partner with the Albany Coalition of Churches to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Albany on Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Dougherty County Health Department.
The health department is at 1710 S. Slappey Boulevard.
Jacqueline Jenkins, director of the Office of Epidemiology and Prevention for the district, said the partnership addresses the issues of vaccine equity and safety among people of color and encourages those who identify as “vaccine-hesitant” to make an appointment and get vaccinated.
“Early in the pandemic, Dougherty County experienced increased cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 among Black residents,” said Jenkins, who, along with Remy Hutchins, heads the district’s Vaccine Equity Taskforce. “This is something we have to do to reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in our community. The vaccine is the best shot at ending the pandemic.”
Twenty churches in the Albany area participate in the coalition and shared with their congregations the importance of getting vaccinated and the opportunity available at the clinic this Saturday. Tying the clinic to Black History Month was also a goal of the coalition.
“If we are going to defeat this virus, we need all hands on deck,” said Carl White, Jr., senior pastor at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. “This virus has devastated our community, but recovery is possible, and it starts with us working together to fight for the health of our region.”
Those currently eligible for the vaccine include anyone 65 years old or over and their caregivers, healthcare providers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, law enforcement, firefighters, 911 operators and dispatchers.
Vaccine recipients must wear a mask to the clinic, bring a valid ID, and wear clothing that makes their arm easily accessible. All recipients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival and will be asked to remain in the observation area for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
Appointments are required and can be made by calling (229) 352-6567.