Mobile COVID-19 vaccine unit helps vaccinate dozens at construction work site

A metro Atlanta construction company made it easy for its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by requesting a mobile vaccine unit. 

Christopher Rampton is the senior project manager with JE Dunn, a company that is overseeing the construction of a new health sciences research building on Emory University's campus. 

Rampton said he and others in the company want to do everything they can to create a safe and healthy work environment for the employees. 

"With the arrival of the delta variant and then continuously looking for ways to improve the safety of the construction environment, we were brainstorming and googling and came across the DeKalb County Board of Health mobile vaccine site," Rampton said. 

Rampton requested a unit be brought out to the worksite.

Just a few weeks after submitting the request, the staff and vaccines showed up. 

A total of 86 people decided to take advantage of it. 

Among them was Chris Hughes, who has worked in construction for more than two decades. 

"There's a lot of us that work construction that work a lot of hours 60, 70 hours a week," Hughes said. 

Hughes said he had no plans to get his COVID-19 shot, due to a demanding schedule and his inclination towards not getting vaccines. 

He said, however, the mobile vaccine unit changed his mind.

"If I'm sick and I'm in the hospital, I can't provide for my family... We didn't want the job site to get shut down either," Hughes said. 

Things like language barriers or distrust for vaccines can also play a role in keeping people from getting the vaccine. 

However, Rampton said he's glad he was able to help some members of the crew overcome at least one barrier keeping them from getting the shot. 

"I certainly think that we learned a lesson here that convenience is certainly a factor there. These men and women building this building are working long hours, some of them six to seven days a week. So, I think bringing the vaccine to them increases the turnout for sure," Rampton said.  

The mobile unit will be back in a few weeks to give people their second doses. 

Rampton said other construction companies have shown interest in getting the mobile vaccine unit out to their sites after hearing about it. 

You can find more information about how to request a mobile vaccine on the Dekalb County Board of Health website.

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