(SAVANNAH, GA) Flu season is in full swing. But this one is like no other. As we await a COVID-19 vaccine, there’s another that’s readily available in Savannah, thanks to a CDC flu prevention grant. On Sunday, December 13, the Chatham County Health Department will offer free seasonal flu shots to the public in downtown Savannah. While the coronavirus has yet to be conquered, it’s time to fight the flu we know.

“Getting the flu vaccine is especially important this year since COVID-19 and the seasonal flu will circulate through the population at the same time,” said Nichele Hoskins, Flu Education Campaign manager. “This compounds the risk among African Americans and other ethnic and racial groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

The walk-up clinic will be managed by the Chatham County Health Department and is made possible by Healthy Savannah, in partnership with the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called REACH. That’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. The overall objective of the local grant is to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in Savannah’s and Chatham County’s low-wealth neighborhoods.

The event is also supported by Center Parc Credit Union and Enmarket.

The event sponsors will hand out prizes to participants and free flu shots will be distributed to anyone six months and older from 10:30 am. to 12:30 p.m. at 510 West Gwinnett St., across from Conner’s Temple Baptist Church. Everyone is asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tapped recipients of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Grant to reduce the risk of African Americans contracting the seasonal flu. Flu season begins in October and will run into the spring. The CDC awarded the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah $171,336 to increase that awareness, knowledge and vaccination rates among Black residents of Chatham County.

Under the flu prevention grant, Healthy Savannah is engaging trusted community members to address misinformation about the flu vaccine, educate community members about the risks of getting the flu, and foster stronger connections, communication and trust between people who need vaccines and vaccine providers.

For more information or to get involved as a Flu Fighter, contact Nichele Hoskins, Flu Education Campaign manager at nichele@healthysavannah.org or (205) 222-2030.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. This funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been deployed by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. The local project is called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE. Its aim is to increase the availability of high-quality nutrition, increase physical activity by creating greater access to safe places to walk, run, bike and play, and foster stronger connections between people and the healthcare providers who serve them. Working with more than 200 community partners and organizations, the team’s work elevates the health and wellness of our community through policy, systems, and environmental change.

https://healthysavannah.org   https://ymcaofcoastalga.org

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