A group of four volunteers is going door-to-door and joining their hands for getting a vote regarding vaccination in rural Cuthbert, Georgia. In the scorching heat of April and May, these four are trying to persuade people to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Randolph has been hit hard by the Covid-19 vaccine.
Vaccination Drive In Rural Georgia
The state has the highest number of cases in the early months of the pandemic. The state is the poorest in Georgia and is situated about 140 miles south of Atlanta. Randolph is isolated and an hour from the highway and is the highest wheat and sorghum, grower. The county seat of the state, Cuthbert, has a population of about 3,500 and is home to private liberals arts school Andrew College.
Randolph has a 62% population of Black and is located at the heart of the historic Black Belt. Most people are black in the county region in the Deep South, which includes the poorest and rural regions of the country.
According to US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the population of rural areas has a higher risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19. Mostly the racial differences make the people vulnerable to the deadly disease.
Georgia’s vaccination rate is the lowest in the US, and Randolph County has a vaccination rate much below average.
According to CDC researchers, the lower vaccination rates can extend the pandemic further.
The administration of the Biden government set a goal for giving one jab of Covid-19 vaccine to 70% of UD adults by July 4. The federal government is attracting people to get vaccinated in hubs like barber shops, offering child care, and organizing vaccination drives. The government is also offering various goodies like beer, guns, scholarships, and million-dollar prizes.
On the other hand, the volunteers of Randolph County don’t want any incentives and have been eagerly wanting to get people vaccinated since March.
The volunteers have volunteered at the Randolph County Democratic Committee for many years. The committee operates community programs like Neighbor 2 Neighbor. The group also launched a nonpartisan vaccine program. Firstly, they focused on senior citizens who don’t have access to an internet connection and can’t get vaccine appointments. Since then, volunteers have knocked on many doors.
The volunteers have come across many people who believe that the Covid-19 vaccines cause infertility. Barrow, a nurse, and a canvasser said that people believe that the vaccine is like the devil. She further added that they listen to people’s concerns and why they don’t trust the government and try to educate them and make them aware of the benefits of vaccines. However, all residents of the county are not hesitant to get vaccinated.
According to Census figures, one-third of the population of the county doesn’t have access to an internet connection, and they lie in the category of below poverty line. Randolph County has a 20% population without access to any vehicles, analyzed by the CDC, and this makes it hard to get appointments. So, the volunteers of Neighbor 2 Neighbor organized a clinic with a local doctor in April and May. They provided transportation to people and chose a location that is more accessible to people. For appointments, they register people from door-to-door; thus, it needs no internet connection.
The only hospital in the county was closed in October because of financial struggles and has only one ambulance, which covers only 431 square miles. The residents of Georgia have to go to Alabama.
Many residents of the county have appreciated the efforts of volunteers going door-to-door and getting people vaccinated at no extra cost.
Previous Saturday, 80 people were vaccinated with the help of volunteers. The vaccine shot was of the Modern Covid-19 vaccine.
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With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.