During Black History Month, Providing Life-Saving Vaccines for Communities of Color

Partnership is at the heart of much of the work that the nonprofit Gwinnett Coalition does to address the needs of residents in Gwinnett County, located in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

In February, with support from the CDC Foundation, the Gwinnett Coalition’s vaccine equity program Gwinnett Cares used the power of collaboration to help address a lag in COVID-19 vaccination rates among the county’s communities of color by organizing Healthy, Vibrant and Vaxxed, a walk-in vaccine clinic honoring Black History Month. For the event, the Coalition joined with a group of dedicated partners which included the Gwinnett County Health Department, the Greater Eastside Chamber of Commerce, Gwinnett County NAACP and the Rho Kappa Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Event volunteers

“The County, with the support of several community partners, is working to ensure that all residents have every opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting a COVID-19 vaccine,” said local county commissioner and event spokesperson Jasper Watkins III. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves so that no more Gwinnettians lose their lives to this virus.”  

The Healthy, Vibrant and Vaxxed event drew a huge crowd. Gwinnett County Health Department director, Audrey Arona, MD answered questions from community members as they waited, and there were many volunteers on hand who were happy to share their own reasons for getting vaccinated. 

“I chose to get vaccinated, not only to protect myself, but also to protect my community, my friends and my family,” said volunteer and local college student Emily Bull. “It’s important that we all get vaccinated so that future generations do not have to experience what we are experiencing.”

By the end of the day, over 500 people were vaccinated as friends and neighbors in Gwinnett County came together to protect their own health and the health of their community.

aige Havens of the Gwinnett Coalition, District Health Director Audrey Arona, MD, and Nikka Sorrels, MPH, senior program officer for the CDC Foundation

If you’d like to read more about this unique event, Nikka Sorrells, MPH, senior program officer for the CDC Foundation attended the Healthy Vibrant and Vaxxed clinic, and shared her experience and photos in this blog.

Funding for this effort is made possible through a subaward from the CDC Foundation and is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) financial assistance award totaling $25,660,048 with 100 percent funding from CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.