Augusta University recently supported a flu and COVID-19 vaccination clinic for agricultural workers at Costa Layman Farms.
Teams of volunteer students, faculty and interpreters from Augusta University partnered with Carolina Health Centers, Inc., a federally qualified health care center in upstate South Carolina, to provide vaccines to the workers — most of whom are Hispanic — just ahead of the flu season on Nov. 19.
Kathy Jennings, migrant outreach coordinator with Carolina Health, and Dr. Pam Cromer, professor in the College of Nursing and director of the Costa Layman Community Health Outreach Program for Augusta University, agreed that as the holiday season approaches, “it is inspiring to see these health care workers give their time and talent to make our communities more safe and healthy.”
Jennings said a total of 160 flu vaccines and 100 COVID-19 booster vaccines were administered.
Cromer said the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the health concerns of Hispanics, citing that they are “1.3 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 and have significantly lower vaccination rates than Caucasians.”
She continued, “The uninsured rate for Hispanics is three times higher than in white populations, 30% face the highest rate of severe housing problems and there is wide disparity in maternal mortality, mental health, chronic disease and food insecurity of Hispanics nationwide.”
The partnership with Carolina Health Center and Augusta University is long-standing and demonstrates both organizations’ commitment to community- and region-wide preventive tactics to improve those statistics and keep communities healthy and safe.