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Community Partnership Provides Free COVID-19 Vaccinations/Boosters Targeting Communities of Color

The emergence of COVID-19 stunned the globe as it spread rapidly from continent to continent and community to community. The healthcare system was stressed and resources to prevent and treat COVID-19 were scarce in most communities. In communities of color, access to testing, vaccines, and medical care was even more limited. This disparity

caused increased illness and even death.

This realization prompted the Sixth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church under the leadership of Bishop Thomas L. Brown, Sr. to partner with community organizations to provide access to testing, vaccines, and education. To this end, the West Georgia Region is hosting a Vaccination Extravaganza at Holsey Chapel CME Church, in the historic Liberty District, on Saturday, December 18, 2021, from 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM EST in partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE) and the NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-

19 Disparities. The Georgia CEAL research teams will be focused on providing COVID-19 awareness and education, especially among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos in the Chattahoochee Valley community.

According to the CDC, 40.1% of the Muscogee County population has at least one dose and 33.7% are fully vaccinated as of December 6, 2021. This low vaccination rate is an example of the importance of events such as these. The Mayo Clinic states that the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent the spreading the COVID-19 virus to others and from replicating, which allows

it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines. Vaccinated people who contract the virus are less likely to become seriously ill and/or hospitalized. With the new Omicron variant emerging and the holidays just around the corner, vaccination is more important than ever.

Rev. Dr. Curtis L. West, Jr., pastor of Hosley Chapel CME Church, encourages all faith and community leaders to join in this effort to restore the health of the communities of color. The Women of Holsey Chapel Women’s Ministry will be hosting a Holiday Pop-Up Shop alongside this event with local vendors, live music, and COVID-19 education. “We have the opportunity to advance community-engaged approaches to vaccinations during unprecedented times,” said Dr. Tabia Henry Akintobi, Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Associate Dean of Community Engagement, and Director of the Prevention Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine. “Community co-creation

of culturally sensitive outreach, health communication, and science, from those who are trustworthy, are at the core of changing the path towards reduced hospitalization, sickness, and death related to COVID-19.”

The Vaccination Extravaganza will be held on the campus of Holsey Chapel CME Church at the Page-Doleman Complex at 800 8th Street. It is free and open to the public. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available for the first or second shot or the booster. Registration is available at prior to the event and on a first-come-first-served basis on the day of the event.

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