In an effort to distribute more COVID-19 vaccines in communities of color, Walgreens is partnering with Uber to help parishioners of three metro-Atlanta churches get vaccinated.

“Uber picked us up at our home this morning,” said Ronald Stevens. He and his wife Venus are parishioners of St. Philip AME Church in Decatur.

When asked if they’re excited about getting their first dose of the vaccine, Venus smiled and put her hands in the air, saying, “Yes!”

“We can return to doing some of the things that we all enjoy,” added her husband.

The senior pastor of the church, Rev. William D. Watley, said he’s thrilled so many members will soon be protected against the virus.

“If you’re serious about reaching the minority community, then the vaccination sites must be in places where we are comfortable,” Watley said.

“Bringing the vaccine to a trusted environment really fueled this,” said Walgreens Healthcare Supervisor Shauna Markes-Wilson who helped organize the 3-day events.

“I don’t know about you. It’s been a year, and I’m ready for life to get back to normal,” said Markes-Wilson, “and I truly believe that vaccinating everyone, it’s going to really get us back.”

The two other participating churches are St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church and Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, both in Atlanta. Appointments at the 3-day events were pre-booked through the church, and no vaccinations are available to the general public.

Markes-Wilson said the company is planning to organize vaccination events in 100 underserved communities across the country.

The events are happening as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that the next phase of vaccine eligibility opens up Monday to Georgians 55 and older and those 16 and up with serious medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes, being overweight, and heart conditions, among several other conditions.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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