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Juneteenth Celebration encourages more vaccines for minorities

Posted at 2:11 AM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-20 10:15:28-04

BAINBRIDGE, GA. (WTXL) — A Juneteenth celebration with an even greater purpose in Bainbridge.

Celeste Peterson is a nurse at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. On this Juneteenth she spent her time helping to clear up misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to help get more minorities in South Georgia vaccinated.

"We talked about the myth that the vaccine has side effects that are just in black people," said Peterson. "That's just not true."

Betty Fudge, who helped organize the event, said celebrating this day is important to help support local vendors, to celebrate a historic day for African Americans and raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19. She lost her brother to the virus earlier this year.

"Everybody should get the shot, the vaccine, you should get that," said Fudge. "If you can't do that, get the information on it and at least know what's going on."

In Decatur County, 2,900 African Americans have received the vaccine, county-wide totals are at 16,500. A number that health leaders hope events like Saturday's helps go up. Offering people like Justin Williams, who is hesitant about the vaccine another opportunity to get the facts about those vaccines.

"I have a little bit of mixed emotion about that, but anything that talks about the preservation of human life and people, I'm all for it," said Williams.

Peterson also talked about health equity at today's celebration, letting people know there are opportunities for people to get things like free cancer screenings through the group horizons.