Savannah faith leaders continue spreading message of getting vaccinated in underserved communities

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Faith leaders in Savannah are still spreading the message in underserved communities about getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

Faith leaders at St. Paul CME Church in Savannah say since the end of February they’ve had at least 150 church members get registered to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. They’ve been working to turn hesitation into action.

“We put out an all-call bulletin to every member we have and to their family members, ” Reverend Dr. Da’Henri Thurmond said.

The church is continuing to educate its church members on the COVID-19 vaccine to ease their concerns about getting the shot. Its a partnership that started earlier this year with the help of St. Joseph’s/Candler to make sure underserved communities have access to the vaccine.

“Whether it’s a worship experience we’ve used each one of those as an opportunity to share with people that they have a chance to now be vaccinated,” Thurmond said.

He told News 3 as African Americans were affected by COVID-19 it was important for him to put an end to the vaccine hesitancy within the Black community.

“We have experienced a transition of so many wonderful people in our community as a result of this pandemic. We don’t want to see one more person ill, in the hospital or even die as a result of COVID-19,” Thurmond said.

State Representative Carl Gilliard is collaborating with local health officials to secure enough vaccine.

“I’m not as fortunate to have a mother or father that’s still here, but I can tell you, several mothers and fathers, that are of age, you know, they deserve to have the vaccine,” Gilliard said.

The next group of church members will get vaccinated at Taylor Chapel AME Church on Wednesday. The overall hope is to resume safe in-person services.

News 3 asked the reverend what this means to have the hospital and everybody in the community working together to try to get the vaccine out there for everyone to get back to some sort of normal.

“It shows me what community can be when we all work together,” Thurmond said.

Vaccination clinics are not open to the public or open for walk-in’s. Each church is working to get members of their own congregations scheduled to receive the vaccine.

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