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AU pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic opens this week

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 10:08 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - AU is opening up a new pop-up clinic and it’s set to be one of the first few to come to the South Augusta area. The clinic starts Wednesday and will be at Diamond Lakes Community Center.

AU says that over 80 percent of people over the age of 65 are vaccinated but there’s still a lot of work to be done. They say they have the highest percentage of young people hospitalized with COVID-19 they’ve ever seen. Right now 58 percent of their COVID patients at AU are under the age of 50.

The Diamond Lakes Community Center is the next stop for people hoping to get the vaccine. They are hoping the clinic will serve more minorities. About 38 percent of people they’ve vaccinated are a minority but they’re hoping this clinic will surpass that average by a long shot.

First in line, Augusta Commissioner Ben Hasan, District 6 Representative.

“I can hopefully be a catalyst in encouraging the constituents of South Augusta to come out and get the shot,” said Hasan.

AU says it’s not just about accessibility but education.

“What we see is that the more we educate people directly, the more likely they are to ultimately make the decision to get the vaccine based on facts,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche, AU Assistant VP of Strategic Planning.

Another hurdle is getting young people vaccinated those who might trust TikTok over a doctor.

“What we know is social media takes bits of facts and puts them together and ultimately creates myths, and many of these myths are leading to individuals not getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Wyche.

They hope this pop-up will provide more access to minorities. During their pop-up at Good Shepard 74 percent of the vaccines went to minorities. Almost double what they typically average. They also want people to know the variants are changing the game.

“Every time there’s a new variant, people that are younger are being affected more by hospitalizations and death than by the original COVID-19 data that came out,” said Dr. Wyche.

They hope behind each vial there’s a person willing to get the shot not just for themselves, but for their neighbors too.

“If both of us get the shot, the better chance we have that we all will survive,” said Hasan.

You’ll be able to book your slot to get vaccinated at Diamond Lakes Community Center at Augusta Health. AU says this pop-up will keep going on as long as the demand is still there.

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