From March 11 to 13, 2021, Walgreens pharmacists administered more than 7,000 COVID-19 vaccines to community members across the Atlanta metropolitan area. Vaccine clinics were held at local churches, giving community members a familiar place to receive their vaccine among trusted friends and recognized leaders – and a way to help address access barriers and vaccine hesitancy among the Black community.
“We’ve had the desire to have vaccination sites in places in the community where people are comfortable,” says Rev. Dr. William Watley, Ph.D, senior pastor for Saint Philip AME Church on the east side of Atlanta, where one of the clinics was held. “The church is that place in the Black community.”
The clinics also served as the first demonstration of Walgreens’ partnership with Uber, which offered approximately 2,700 free and discounted rides to patients for whom transportation was previously a barrier to receiving their vaccination.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, U.S. Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock and U.S. Representative Nikema Williams were among the local and national leaders who made appearances at the clinics.
Hear from some of those who were on the ground in Atlanta in this video: