By Phil Sutton
Kubota Manufacturing of America
Chairman, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
For the last 14 years, the Greater Hall Chamber has promoted community wellness at its Annual HealthSmart Expo. Free health screenings, business wellness recognition and dozens of medical service exhibitors created a valuable service for our community.
This year, as COVID-19 cases again spiked, Chamber leadership decided to repurpose the HealthSmart Expo and offer a new, much different event – Community Vaccine Day. The one-day, one-stop COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot clinic is October 6. Dozens of local businesses, healthcare providers, medical clinics, industries, non-profits, churches and clubs have combined resources to bring this project to fruition.
Our healthcare leaders continue to promote the vaccine as highly effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 and that the benefits of the vaccine greatly outweigh any risks. We are so fortunate to have such highly qualified and knowledgeable medical professionals guiding us through the pandemic. Through all four COVID-19 case spikes, they have worked tirelessly to keep us informed and safe. Though a wide range of public opinion on the vaccine continues, I believe that the COVID-19 vaccine offers us the best chance to put an end to the pandemic and create a safer, healthier community. As more people are vaccinated, our businesses and community can get back to a normal routine. Unfortunately, more than half of our state and county still isn’t vaccinated, and that leaves us all vulnerable to another crippling spike.
The vaccine is the answer, and we need everyone who is eligible to protect themselves so our businesses can remain open, our children can return to school and our communities can continue to recover.
It has been an incredible experience to see people from all facets of our community pull together when facing adversity. Community Vaccine Day is a perfect example. Administrators, nurses, ministers, Latino leadership, banks, restaurants, government entities, small business owners, and more have united with a mission to create a healthy community.
You’re likely reading this article after Community Vaccine Day (October 6). But, there are still many organizations providing free COVID-19 vaccines. See the listing on page 5, or call the Chamber for a full list of vaccine providers. If you’re an employer and would like to have a vaccination clinic at your business, let us know. Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, Hall County Health Department and others can bring the vaccine to you.
Let’s keep this going. Get the shot. Let’s END COVID!