By Mechell Clark McCrary
FVSU will host its first community-wide COVID-19 vaccination event on Tuesday, May 11. A part of the university’s ongoing effort to support the fight against the virus, a drive-thru clinic will be held on campus at the Health and Physical Education Complex (HPE) parking lot from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The drive-thru clinic will be open to residents of the Fort Valley and surrounding communities, including family members of students, faculty and staff to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
FVSU started administering COVID-19 vaccinations to its on-campus community in March exclusively provided to students and employees. By expanding vaccine accessibility to the broader community, FVSU is taking a leadership role in mitigating the spread of the virus, which is aligned with the mission of its recently formed Health Equity COVID-19 Community Partnership Taskforce.
“As we continue to strive toward getting back to some sense of normalcy for the Fall semester, vaccinations will be a critical component to helping us get there” said Dr. Paul Jones, president of Fort Valley State University. “Accomplishing this will require going beyond our campus. Our taskforce is committed to extending our support and resources to the community to ensure we are all part of the solution.”
Led by Dr. Felicia Jefferson, biomedical research and associate professor in the Department of Biology at FVSU, the university’s COVID-19 taskforce serves as a focal point for community engagement and education on reducing the spread of the virus. The taskforce includes FVSU health and science leaders and other community organization leaders from the Peach County School System, North Central Health District and Fort Valley Church of Christ.
“Our goal is to expand our reach to inoculate as many people as possible through providing convenient access to vaccinations. We are also focused on dispelling misinformation about the vaccine that often contributes to distrust and hesitancy within the community,” said Dr. Jefferson. “The drive-thru clinic hosted at FVSU will serve as a great first step in this process.”
No appointments will be required for community residents interested in receiving the vaccine during the May 11 drive-thru clinic. Vaccinations will be administered to ages 16 years and older. Identification will be checked. Attendees should prepare to wait 15 to 30 minutes following vaccination and will not have to leave their vehicles.