DeKalb offers free flu shots to county’s homeless population

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DeKalb County will provide free flu vaccinations this weekend to homeless people in the county to stave off a potential “twin-demic” of the seasonal flu and coronavirus

DeKalb will host the free flu shot event at two locations Saturday, according to a news release. The shots will be available at Decatur Cooperative Ministry at 115 Church Street from 9 to 11 a.m. and Threshold Ministry at 218 Sycamore Street from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

It’s the second free flu shot event the county has held for its homeless population since mid-November. The first took place Nov. 21, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to the county to find out how many shots were administered that day.

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DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson said the county provided free flu shots to its homeless population in prior years, but the coronavirus pandemic has made this year’s effort more vital. Health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned Americans that cases of the flu and COVID-19 will likely increase during the winter months and could strain the healthcare system.

“This year, it was important to me due to the real threat of a Twin-Demic due to COVID-19,” Cochran-Johnson said in an emailed statement. “Our medical community cannot survive a Twin-Demic, so we must protect ourselves against what we have a vaccine for — the flu, as we battle what is unknown.”

The vaccinations will be given by certified nurses and medical personnel, who will wear masks, gloves and eye protection, the release said. All patients and visitors must wear a face covering, complete a COVID-19 questionnaire and take a thermal temperature screen.

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Both events were hosted by Cochran-Johnson in partnership with the county’s board of health and the DeKalb County Department of Community Development. For more information, call 470-889-4213.

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