AUGUSTA, Ga. – Inside a large gymnasium at Robert Howard Community Center, AU Health System was planting a flag in south Augusta and setting out a welcome mat with COVID-19 vaccine.
Beginning Wednesday and for consecutive Wednesdays in coming weeks, the health system is holding a pop-up vaccination clinic in the community center at Diamond Lakes Regional Park in hopes of reaching more people who have yet to receive it. AU Health is working in partnership with the city and with the encouragement of local officials who see the need to extend vaccinations, said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis.
“Today, we’re able to take a step forward in providing that resource here in the very heartbeat of south Richmond County with the support of our friends and colleagues at Augusta University Health,” he said.
AU Health received $2 million from Augusta National Golf Club and the Community Foundation of the CSRA to expand its mobile and outreach efforts and the clinic in south Augusta is part of making it easier for people to access the vaccine, said AU Health CEO Katrina Keefer.
“We want to make vaccine convenient where it was otherwise not available,” she said.
While there have been hopeful signs of progress, “it’s not time for us to take our foot off the gas and starting putting on the brake,” Davis said. “It’s time for us to accelerate our efforts” to get more people vaccinated.
Those that are younger are now more likely to be the ones infected, he said. And so vaccine messaging and outreach needs to target “those that are younger and see themselves as healthy and maybe invincible to this disease, which is factually inaccurate,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche, assistant vice president for strategic planning and pharmacy services at AU Health.
AU Health South Augusta Clinic
In partnership with the city of Augusta, AU Health System will be holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, and on consecutive Wednesdays at the Robert Howard Community Center at Diamond Lakes Regional Park. To register, go to: https://covid.augustahealth.org/vaccine/