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Community Advocates Spread the Word about Vaccines Every Adult Needs

1) What is this program?

The Community Health Advocate program mobilizes members of the community to discuss and share information about adult vaccination in the neighborhoods, churches, jobs, and areas where they live, work, or volunteer.

Since 2020, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Healthy Savannah three grants to raise adult vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in Chatham County. A portion of those funds support the work of community members to focus on adult vaccination. In 2023, the grant grew to include three additional diseases that can be prevented or diminished in severity by vaccines: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), shingles, and pneumococcal pneumonia.

In early 2024, Healthy Savannah received an additional grant from Creating Healthier Communities to raise awareness of the vaccine for the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Healthy Savannah partnered with a network of Community Health Advocates, or CHAs, who share messages within Black and Hispanic communities about adult vaccines. The program has trained more than 80 CHAs who help share accurate and up-to-date information to:

  • Build trust and better understanding of adult vaccine recommendations and choices, and
  • Help people make informed decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones.

CHAs don’t have to be medical or health professionals. They can be leaders in their neighborhoods, places of worship, workplaces or volunteer work, members of faith-based health or wellness church ministry, or a health committee in businesses, social clubs, or anyone who is interested in supporting health equity in Savannah.

The main purpose of this community outreach is to let Savannahians know what they need to do to prevent, identify, understand, control, and minimize the spread of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

CHAs are Chatham County residents who can demonstrate their ability to reach communities whose voices go uninvited and unheard. They should also be able to relate to the health inequities that disproportionately affect Black and Hispanic Savannahians. Neighborhood leaders, church leaders, community organizers and post-high school students are encouraged to apply.

2) Is this a paid position?

A stipend of $500 will be provided to those who successfully complete the program. This training is also a great resume-builder for college students and can help increase leadership skills for community members.

Utilizing their background, experiences, interests, and skill sets, the advocates are encouraged to:

  • Organize meetings with community members
  • Share informational flyers, surveys and materials on adult vaccination at popular gathering spots, like local faith-based organizations, places of worship, and community events like health fairs, public baby
    showers and school supply and food giveaways.
  • Engage social groups, like sororities and fraternities, longshoremen’s groups, veteran’s groups, local schools, parent meetings, walking and wellness clubs, and student organizations
  • Participate in and speaking at city and neighborhood events to share information
  • Meet with local business owners, such as barbershops, beauty salons, and corner stores
  • Share approved information on social media outlets
  • Share information at Reporting on activities and measurable outcomes

3) How can I find out more?

Public listening and information sessions will be held periodically to gauge community attitudes toward vaccination, answer questions, and encourage discussion. Those wishing to attend should contact to

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