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Local medical students team up with faith leaders for vaccine education

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Medical students at MCG had boots on the ground today spreading information about the vaccine. They’re teaming up with the Augusta Interfaith Coalition to go out into some of our communities.

This was the second event the students have spoken at so far. They gave out some key facts, busted some myths, and had a Q&A. They’re hoping this individualized, community-based approach can go a long way in putting some big concerns to rest.

To get the shot or to not get the shot, it’s a tough question for a lot of people.

“People are reluctant to take the shot, the vaccine, for a myriad of reasons. Number one, it’s out of genuine distrust,” said Reverend Christopher Johnson, Chairman and Executive Director of Augusta Interfaith Coalition.

And it can be easy to feel well, uneasy. Especially with all the misinformation out there. It’s why these med students volunteered to give out the facts one-on-one.

“We’re just really excited to be able to let people know about the vaccine, especially with a lot of information going on,” said Ugochi Uzoigwe, a third-year med student at MCG.

These future doctors came to Good Hope Baptist Church to spread information so people don’t spread the virus. And the knowledge isn’t just staying within these walls.

“I’m here primarily to really gain knowledge so that I can share with veterans,” said Willie Jackson, seminar attendee.

Jackson is a veteran himself and during his work with other Vietnam Vets, he’s seen they have their own unique worries.

“Because of all of the health problems so many of us encountered, particularly those from the Vietnam era, are afraid to take the shot,” he said.

And MCG says this is just the beginning of the push to get more info out there.

“Our focus in addition to Augusta is rural areas, minorities, underserved areas, because, again, that information should be accessed by everyone,” said Jackson.

The Interfaith Coalition is happy to be a part of it.

“Vaccination to us is just like voting. It is a responsibility of everyone,” said Reverend Johnson.

And just like who you vote for, whether you get vaccinate will hopefully be an informed decision.

The Interfaith Coalition and those medical students say they are still in the planning stages of their next meet-up but that they’re hoping to go out in the community in the next few weeks and speak with people at the Civic Center. We’ll be keeping you updated.

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