(PHOTOS) ‘Groundbreaking’ – International Community School holds successful vaccination eventLPN Sherdarria McKissic vaccinates eleven-year-old Cing during a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the International Community School in greater Decatur on Weds. Jan. 26, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Dean Hesse, contributor
Greater Decatur, GA — One hundred sixty COVID-19 vaccinations were given to students and their families at the International Community School (ICS) in the Medlock Park neighborhood of greater Decatur on Weds. Jan. 26, 2022.
ICS is a public charter school in DeKalb County serving more than 400 students K-5 annually representing more than 30 nationalities and speaking 25 languages.
DeKalb County Commission Vaccine Response Liaison Clare Schexnyder said the clinic was a first pilot program for the DeKalb County School District.
Schexnyder said Commissioners Ted Terry and Jeff Rader provided $100 cash cards as an incentive. She said there are many barriers to vaccination that people with privilege take for granted.
“We have found that incentives are really, really helpful in getting people to come out and get in line and finally get that shot,” Schexnyder said. “It lessens the anxiety if people are worried about getting sick after their shot or don’t have childcare or transportation or all of those things. We’ve done so many first shots today. We want this to happen in every school in the county.”
Partners with ICS for the Jan. 26 clinic were Refugee Women’s Network, Emory University Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, New American Pathways, CORE, Georgia State University Prevention Research Centers, Interfaith Youth Core, International Rescue Committee, Clarkston Community Health Center, DeKalb County and DeKalb Board of Health.
“This is the most groundbreaking and collaborative effort happening in the deep South in a state that has a [bad] vaccine rate and we are working together to do some amazing things and we’re finding that incentives work,” Schexnyder said.
Turn out for the Jan. 26 event was better than expected.
Lane Elder, communications coordinator for ICS said, “We thought maybe 100 people would come. We advertised it to our students first and sent out communications to the parents. A lot of the students brought parents and siblings who aren’t even at our school, so it’s had a great reach to families in the Decatur area through word of mouth. We did 65 people in an hour and 15 minutes which the coordinator said was very impressive considering a lot of people have English as a second or third language.”
Of the 160 people vaccinated on Jan. 26:
– 77 received first shots and 63 of those shots went to children
– 27 received second shots, and 21 of those shots went to children
– 56 people received booster shots
Charlotte Flores, director of community & culture for ICS said first, second and booster doses were given.
“We are using the theme of being a superhero, because when you get your vaccine, we are keeping all of us safe in the community and that’s the way to be a superhero Here at ICS we feel it’s incredibly important to be supportive of all ways to make our families safe,” Flores said.
Another free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students, family and staff has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 at Indian Creek Elementary School in Clarkston.
Schexnyder hopes that 300 to 350 people will get their vaccines at the Feb. 5 event.
Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.