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One day vaccine drive targets local blacks, minorities


All unvaccinated individuals are welcome – regardless of color

In an effort to help stem the local spread of the still dominant Delta variant of COVID-19 and to forge ahead of the emerging Omicron variant now cited in at least 16 states across the U.S., a lo\ocal Black History Month-focused grassroots organization known as the Phoenix Affaire Group has partnered with the CORE Response Agency and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Donalsonville to try and help keep the local black and brown communities of Seminole County safe from the deadly COVID-19 virus.

This coming Saturday, December 11th Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (located at 221 N. Dowling Avenue at MLK Jr., Dr.) will become a pop-up site for the first-known attempt specifically targeting local African-American residents by bringing the vaccines directly to their neighborhood. “It’s important to make the vaccines readily available to our people and to help dispel some of the misinformation going on within our community”, says Moses James, Chairman of Deacon Ministries for Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.

The one-day vaccine drive will run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday inside the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church annex.  No appointment is necessary and booster shots will also be available for those who’ve already taken their prior two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.  The Pfizer vaccine will be administered to those starting from 12 years old and up and the Moderna vaccine dose starts at age 18 and up.  The vaccine drive is also being made possible by the CORE Response Agency which has partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Curogram to provide free COVID-19 vaccines across the state by sending out mobile nursing teams into hard-to-reach rural pockets of Georgia – like Seminole County – where vaccination rates among the black and brown communities are low to moderate. In fact, only 44.7% of blacks in Seminole County are vaccinated versus 45.8% of whites, according to a CDC breakdown of vaccine statistics county by county in Georgia.  Agency reps emphasize that you must bring your CDC-issued vaccination card if you are seeking to get either a second or booster shot.   Otherwise, without your CDC-issued proof of vaccination card, you will not be able to receive the additional shot you may need.  Additionally, if you have lost or misplaced your CDC-issued proof of vaccination card, you will not be able to get a shot at this one-day vaccine drive event.  First-timers will be issued a proof of vaccination card after getting their first-ever shot.

“Let’s be clear.  This effort is, in fact, targeting the local black and brown communities of the area but is not limited to these communities.  All unvaccinated individuals – regardless of color – are welcome to come to church, if you will, and get the shot. It’s evident that the local minority communities are lagging behind when it comes to getting tested, vaccinated and staying safe from both the Delta – and now – Omicron variants especially as Winter approaches”, stresses Rahn d. Fudge, Executive Producer of the Bainbridge-based Phoenix Affaire Group. Fudge himself has lost a brother and had other family members suffer severely and die from COVID-19.

Choosing a local black church to spearhead a vaccine drive in the black community is a deliberate choice made by Fudge.  It comes on the heels of a November 19th meeting last month between Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, Reverend Al Sharpton and the organization of National Black Pastors who recently convened at a Choose Healthy Life (CHL) Black Clergy Conclave focusing on COVID-19 and the progress achieved to raise public awareness in the black community about the importance of getting tested and vaccinated. CHL is now operating in 120 black churches across 13 states and has in place a so-called “CHL Action Plan” to, given time, reach even more black churches which have historically been a staple (and bedrock) of the black community for generations.

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