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$100,000 Athens Donation Addresses Vaccine Equity

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

An Athens nonprofit recently contributed $100,000 to the Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health, with the goal of increasing equity in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sarah McKinney is President and CEO of the Athens Area Community Foundation (AACF). She says providers must consider a multitude of obstacles, including grappling with a variety of site locations, getting the vaccine to those who can’t get to sites, overcoming hesitancy, underserved communities, and partner agencies.

According to McKinney, "One of the biggest issues we're looking at is transportation access barriers, registration challenges, (and) vaccine hesitancy. When you begin to look at equity in terms of actual outreach, how do people know there are clinics in their area? What if there are low rates of internet availability in certain communities?"

To date, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund has donated $418,000 to 55 organizations and school systems.

The funding is not restricted to the current United Way of Northeast Georgia or other collective nonprofit-funded organizations.

The AACF partners with the United Way of Northeast Georgia to manage the fund, which is still open and accepting donations. For more information, visit

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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