DeKalb residents get COVID-19 vaccines, care packages at drive-thru event

DeKalb County residents received a shot and fresh food on Saturday during a county vaccine and food distribution event. 

DeKalb County Board of Health and DeKalb Fire Rescue medical personnel administered COVID-19 vaccines to residents, who then received one 20-pound box of Georgia-grown fruit and vegetables, one dozen eggs and a 10-pound package of a chicken hindquarter. 

"Getting potentially lifesaving vaccine into the arms of DeKalb residents is our top priority," DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said in a statement. "We must create and implement innovative community-based strategies that will increase vaccination rates among underserved populations."

The vaccinations and food distribution were held at four drive-thru sites on a first-come, first-serve basis:

  • James R. Hallford Stadium, 3789 Memorial College Ave., Clarkston
  • Former K-Mart store parking lot at 5597 Buford Hwy. NE, Doraville
  • Buck Godfrey Stadium, 2817 Clifton Springs Rd., Decatur
  • New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd., Stonecrest

"We can stop COVID-19 together," said Interim District Health Director Sandra J. Valenciano, M.D., M.P.H. "By getting vaccinated, we are protecting those we love and keeping our communities healthy. Do your part and get your COVID-19 vaccine today."

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The county said about 3,700 care packages would be distributed on Saturday. 

Jamal Bryant, pastor of New Birth Missionary Church, said his church and DeKalb County are working to increase the rate of vaccinations in the African American community. 

"Today, it is our privilege to meet the needs of those dealing with food insecurity," Bryant said.

The county used federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to purchase the produce and protein.

"African-Americans, people of color and low-income populations have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," DeKalb County NAACP branch President Teresa Hardy said. "We are proud to collaborate with DeKalb County in its efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy and food insecurity."

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