State officials launch COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week

State officials are working to encourage more Georgians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated. That's why the Georgia Municipal Association started the "It's Worth a Shot" campaign.

Officials laid out their vision for the campaign on Thursday. They also addressed how they're dealing with vaccine hesitancy.

"This COVID-19 virus is not a respecter of color or gender or political party. This is something we have to truly take seriously," said Vince Williams, the Mayor of Union City and President of the Georgia Municipal Association.

It was a message of solidarity from local and state leaders on Thursday. The Georgia Municipal Association along with Georgia's Department of Public Health joined together on the "It's Worth a Shot" campaign to encourage all Georgians to get vaccinated.

"Vaccines aren't going to end the pandemic, it's the vaccines in people's arms that are going to end the pandemic," said D

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia's Public Health Commissioner, discusses the COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week on April 15, 2021. (FOX 5)

Dr. Toomey also addressed the issue of vaccine hesitancy. She said it's hitting many southern states particularly hard.

"Our biggest challenge right now is among the white community, particularly in rural Georgia, that simply is not interested in the vaccine right now," said Dr. Toomey.

Cities across the state have taken different approaches to encourage vaccinations. Some cities, like Dunwoody, shot video inside a vaccination clinic as the mayor got her shot. Others are bringing vaccine clinics to churches and local pharmacies.

State officials are encouraging local leaders to speak about the vaccine as well.

"It's time to use the trust and goodwill we've worked so hard to build with our constituents to let them know that not only is the vaccine safe and effective, but we hear their concerns," said Jim Thornton, the Mayor of LaGrange and Vice President of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Hawkinsville commissioners Shelly Berryhill had one of the first COVID-19 cases in his community. He described his battle with the virus at the campaign launch on Thursday.

"I encourage you. Do your part. If not for you, then for your family and community. It's worth a shot," said Berryhill.

Anyone interested in learning more about the "It's Worth a Shot" campaign, click here.

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