Ashely Murchison, a student in Brenau University’s Physician Assistant Studies program, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Gnimbin Ouattara, associate professor of history, during a vaccination clinic March 17 on Brenau’s Gainesville campus. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau, community partners offering free COVID-19 vaccination clinic on June 26

Jun 22, 2021
Brenau Staff

Brenau University has partnered with the city of Gainesville, Gainesville Park and Recreation, St. Paul United Methodist Church Summit Street and Grace Episcopal Church to offer a free walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic for all community members 18 and older.

The first dose of the free Moderna vaccines will be administered from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 26, with second doses scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, July 24, at Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville, Georgia. Participants are asked to RSVP by calling 770-654-1277 and leaving a message with their name and phone number, though walk-ins are welcome.

Gainesville City Council member Barbara Brooks, who helped organize the event, said the goal is to administer 1,500 vaccines. She said the clinic is an important opportunity for residents of Gainesville and Hall County, where vaccination rates are low compared to other areas.

Brooks also expressed hope that the convenience of a free walk-in clinic without text or email registration would appeal to African American, Hispanic and other community members who have yet to seek vaccines.

“It’s important that we make an effort to provide vaccines so that everyone in our community is safer than they were before, and for Brenau to have the vaccine and be willing to participate is wonderful for all of us,” Brooks said.

Brenau Health Services, along with faculty and students from Brenau’s Physician Assistant Studies program and Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, will administer vaccines during the clinic. According to Brenau Nurse Practitioner Sarah Davis, who oversees the university’s vaccination efforts, this group has provided more than 10,000 vaccinations on campus and in the community over the past year.

“I am honored that council member Brooks reached out to me for this partnership, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve our community,” Davis said. “From the beginning of the pandemic, I wanted to do everything possible to protect my family, friends, Brenau and the community. When the vaccine was approved in December, I knew becoming a vaccination site would benefit everyone and fulfill my desire to ensure the health and safety of others.”

For many Brenau students, the university’s vaccination clinics have been a way to earn valuable experience while also giving back to their communities. For Cappreese Crawley, a second-year student in Brenau’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, it was also about family. Crawley’s mother has health issues, and she knows multiple people who have died after having COVID-19.

“I’m African American and have seen how this virus has wreaked havoc in my community,” Crawley said. “I’m so concerned about bringing the virus home to my mother. I felt like this was a great opportunity to serve my community, but it was personal as well. I want us to get better.”

Brooks said she is thankful for Brenau and all those who helped make the free clinic a reality.

“It is a blessing, in the first place, to have Brenau in this community, and to have Brenau’s community involvement during this pandemic is remarkable,” Brooks said.