Belmont University and Kayne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church announced today that they are partnering together to provide a free family flu shot clinic at the Easley Community Center in Rose Park (1000 Edgehill Avenue) on Sat., Nov. 3, from 10 a.m.-noon.
In anticipation of flu season, Belmont recently offered shots to all students, faculty and staff for $16 each. More than 200 additional vaccinations are being offered for free to the university’s neighbors in the Edgehill community, and student nurses from the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing will administer the shots. In addition, approximately 40-60 doses will be offered free of charge to residents of I.W. Gernert Homes, which serves seniors and individuals with disabilities.
“Belmont students, faculty and staff are already involved in a number of projects in the Edgehill community,” said Dr. Jason Rogers, the university’s vice president for administration and university counsel. “But we are always looking for opportunities to further our service-learning initiatives and to be the best neighbors we can be. Hopefully, this event will go a long way toward keeping our community healthy this winter.”
Vincent K. Campbell, senior pastor of Kayne Avenue Missionary Baptist, noted that the church’s youth (Next Generation Now) and community outreach (Helping Hands) ministries will be hosting a family festival at the Easley Center that morning to help attract parents and children to the event. In addition to games and music, the church will be providing food, candy and prizes.
Campbell said, “We want to encourage people to actually come and get the flu shot. The sense that I get is many families in the area would like to have a flu shot but aren’t able to get to a provider because they don’t have means for child care or transportation. One of the things I like about this is that Belmont and the church are helping people overcome the barriers that prevent them from receiving services. This is a perfect example of how churches and non-profit institutions can partner together to do good for our community.”
In addition, Kayne Avenue’s Helping Hands ministry will be at the Nov. 3 event signing up seniors and needy families for two opportunities for holiday basket and food box distribution. Once registered, the baskets and boxes will be available at the church for pick up from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 19 and Dec. 21, for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays respectively.
According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 226,000 people are hospitalized each year because of influenza. Flu shots inject inactivated virus into the muscle, which prevents serious influenza-related illness in most people. The flu shot vaccination is particularly recommended for children 6 months to 5 years of age, anyone age 50 or older, residents of nursing homes and chronic-care facilities, and individuals who have long-term health problems or weakened immune systems.