Helping the homeless community receive the COVID vaccine

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 10:01 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - With eligibility for the vaccine open here in Georgia, some healthcare groups are reaching out to those who may have challenges getting to a specific location.

They are targeting the homeless population and bringing the vaccine to them.

J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care is taking their vaccine efforts on the road. They are meeting people directly where they are, like at the Salvation Army.

“During the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in homeless individuals. It’s almost like putting a pandemic on top of an epidemic and with the over crowdedness in the shelters in the homeless facilities it’s important that we get as many people vaccinated as possible,” J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rena Douse said.

Dr. Douse has a goal to help vaccinate 5 percent of the county and efforts like this help them reach that goal. So far, they have given more than 1,600 shots, but say it’s critical they serve those who have barriers whether it be internet access, healthcare challenges, or transportation.

That’s why they teamed up with local shelters, missions, and more to help the homeless community.

They gave 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while serving those at the Salvation Army.

“It’s kind of like a one-and-done situation and with this population, since they are so transient many times it’s often difficult to locate them for that second vaccine,” Dr. Douse said.

J.C. Lewis will be offering similar clinics with other area partners and say they have plenty of vaccines to go around and encourage people to book an appointment online or by calling their office.

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