South Health District partners with churches to vaccinate communities

South Health District partners with churches to vaccinate communities
The South Health District covers 10 counties in south Georgia. (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Health District (SHD) has been working with Valdosta churches to help vaccinate the community.

Churches are common across the city, that’s one reason SHD partnered with five of them. They’re trying to make it easier for targeted communities to get shots.

“We want to get people in the community vaccinated and most of them don’t have transportation and don’t get around much,” said David Adams, pastor at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.

Adams said adding convenience will make people more likely to get vaccinated.

“We wanted to do more around the African-American communities in our area. We saw not as many African-Americans were getting vaccinated,” said Courtney Sheeley with South Health District.

Serving 10 counties including Lowndes, Brooks and Cook, Sheeley said they were seeing hesitation. She said partnering up with local churches gives people a sense of familiarity and trust.

“As the body of Christ is look out for our neighbors and you know just stop playing politics and go with the science and that’s what we try to do,” said Adams.

Adams said the church has been shut down and doing virtual services since March 2020. He said he’s passed out vaccine fliers around frequented places and homeless shelters.

“If everybody does their part, we can shut this virus down, and begin to come back to normal. But we can’t have normalcy if half of the people are not doing it,” said Adams.

The single-dose Janssen shot is being given. It’s also known as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The goal is to get at least 200 people vaccinated amongst all the church clinics. As of Monday, about 100 have signed up.

Details about the SHD church location clinics.
Details about the SHD church location clinics. (Source: WALB)

Sheeley said SHD hopes to include other counties soon.

Adams and his wife got their last round of vaccines Monday. They encourage everyone to take this opportunity to help stop the spread.

You do not have to be a member of the church to participate, anyone is welcome. Vaccines are also free.

To set an appointment, call (844) 955-1499.

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