The 100 Black Men of Milledgeville-Oconee is sponsoring a free public health and safety community event Saturday at Mt. Zion Church in Harrisburg.
During the four-hour event, which will run from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the church on Harrisburg Road, will feature free COVID-19 vaccines, as well as Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots.
“We are looking very forward to this community-wide event,” said Quentin T. Howell, president of The 100 Black Men of Milledgeville-Oconee. “We want to attract as many people as possible to this event because it’s about saving lives of people from this disease.”
More than 170 residents of Milledgeville and Baldwin County have died from the respiratory disease since mid-March 2020.
“When you start looking at the minority population, we’re like only 28 percent vaccinated in the state,” Howell said. “But we’re dying at 30 percent of the rate. More African-Americans are dying percentage-wise than there is population of African-Americans in the state of Georgia. And that’s scary.”
Howell said he hopes that other organizations join The 100 Black Men of Milledgeville-Oconee in supporting the event.
“We would like to see more of a community opening up its arms to assist in this very important endeavor to help residents become more immune to this disease that has taken the lives of so many people,” Howell told The Union-Recorder during a telephone interview Tuesday morning.
Howell said the Harrisburg neighborhood is considered one of the “hot spots” in the Milledgeville area and that it is important for everyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated from COVID-19 to come to the church and get the vaccine.
“We have the potential to make a big difference in the Harrisburg neighborhood this Saturday and we’re hoping to have a lot of people show up and get their shots,” Howell said.
All three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, will be offered at the event.
The Pfizer booster shots, which were just approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also will be available for those who qualify.
Howell noted that it was important that those who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 bring their vaccination cards to show proof in order to be approved for the booster shot. The new booster shot is aimed at providing another layer of protection against the disease, according to health experts.
The vaccines and those eligible to receive booster shots will be administered by the Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), which has partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health to provide the shots.
In order to receive a booster shot, recipients must have received their second and last vaccine at least six months ago.
Robert Fuller, who serves as vice president of The 100 Black Men of Milledgeville-Oconee, will also share with those who come out to the event ways they can protect themselves from crimes.
Fuller is a former law enforcement officer.
In addition, there also will be free bags of grocery items for those in need.
“We’re hoping to give away between 125 and 150 bags of grocery items for those who need such items,” Howell said. “We’re planning on this event to be highly successful in the community.”