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Valdosta gym owner hosts vaccination site, encourages community to get the shot

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Some people in Valdosta were able to get a workout and their COVID-19 shot.

A gym owner, who’s also a nurse, decided to host a vaccine site after seeing the need for it in the community.

Chelsea Klewicki works at Sculpt 24, and with a big support group by her side, she got her first Pfizer vaccineshot.

Sculpt 24 hosts vaccination site.
Sculpt 24 hosts vaccination site. (WALB)

After hearing parents should get vaccinated to protect their children who can’t, she decided to do it for her 2-year-old son.

“I personally feel like it’s important because all of our children’s lives are important. Whatever I can do to make sure we’re OK, to keep him OK, that’s what I’m going to do,” said Klewicki.

Gym Owner Charles Gloster also serves as a critical care nurse practitioner in Orlando, Fla. With cases increasing and an influx of unvaccinated patients, Gloster decided to step up and help the cause.

“I had a 20-year-old pass away, not from a traumatic brain injury, not from some rare cancer, it was just from COVID. And to have to go to a mother and tell her, ‘Hey, your 20-year-old is not going to survive,” it’s a difficult conversation to have with any mother because you don’t expect to lose people that young,” said Gloster.

Sculpt 24 hosts vaccination site.
Sculpt 24 hosts vaccination site. (WALB)

Working to educate and inform, Gloster said he’s seen people with regrets after losing unvaccinated loved ones.

“It’s very frustrating when you have something where you have a treatment but there’s so much misinformation about the treatment,” said Gloster.

Gloster hopes this initiative will encourage other business owners to host vaccine sites.

“We’re one of the few businesses that I guess have reached out to the health department to get them to come in, which is kind of shocking to me,” said Gloster.

The Georgia Department of Public Health South Health District (SHD) hosted the site with the CORE organization, or Community Organized Relief Effort.

Kristin Patten with SHD said businesses reaching out is super important. She said it gives the community a sense of trust when getting the shot at a familiar spot.

Businesses interested can reach out to SHD.

Gloster said the sooner more people get vaccinated, the faster the road to normalcy will be.

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