Local organizations team up for COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Local organizations team up for COVID-19 vaccine clinic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - As vaccine efforts continue, unique partnerships keep popping up to help eligible people get an appointment.

Hospice Savannah and Savannah-Chatham County Public School System joined together for a vaccination clinic Friday where more than 700 people will be vaccinated.

“We are going to do what it takes to get this community vaccinated. We are now a public mass vaccination site and we are trying to help parts of the community that are having a hard time getting in,” said Kathleen Benton, President and CEO of Hospice Savannah.

For the past five weeks Hospice Savannah has been vaccinating those in phase 1A+. They’ve given more than 2,000 shots. Friday, that includes teachers like Sharon Stallings.

“I’m feeling fine. I didn’t feel a thing.”

She got her first dose of the vaccine and says it will give her confidence as students return to her classroom.

‘I just think it’s important to be safe and I think it’s important to have peace of mind to go ahead and do it and take care of it and it will help us to get back to some, some sense of normalcy,” said Stallings.

About 300 SCCPSS staff who meet current criteria got the vaccine with help from Hospice. Joining them were district nurses who’ve taken on extra duties lately.

“We’ve had to refocus and honestly I am so proud of our staff,” said Tselane McMillan, SCCPSS District Cluster Nurse. “We have done all that we can do.”

They not only handle COVID-19 at the school level, but are contact tracers, and now future vaccinators. They have trained alongside healthcare leaders to be able to help out when more teachers are eligible for the vaccine.

“We’ve already started the process in anticipation of that second phase opening up to all of our staff members. We are going to partner with anybody who’s willing to offer our staff the opportunity to get their vaccination and our nurses are ready. We have been trained, we have worked at different facilities, and we are just ready to be able to help our fellow staff members,” said McMillan.

Until that day Hospice Savannah says they feel honored to help.

“I think we have a true obligation to making sure that teachers who are appropriate are not shopping for the vaccine, they are not hopping around, but they can go to one site, it does not take time from their teaching and they can be in and out and move on,” explained Benton.

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