ATLANTA — The Fulton County Board of Health is hosting vaccine clinics throughout Atlanta Pride weekend. Staff from the Fulton County Board of Health began setting up at the Piedmont Park Visitor Center at 10 a.m. to distribute monkeypox and COVID-19 vaccines.
The main event drew in thousands of people for the festival which was taking place for the first time in two years after being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. David Holland, the Chief Medical Officer for the Fulton County Board of Health, hoped those in attendance would take advantage of the opportunity to get their monkeypox vaccines.
“It hasn't gone away," he told 11Alive's Karys Belger. "And now is the time not to let up, but now is actually the time to accelerate our efforts because we don't want to just have this be something that's just something that we start living with."
Atlanta Pride took place a little more than a month after Atlanta Black Pride. For Holland and other healthcare providers, it was an opportunity to ensure people received their second doses. The vaccine is meant to be given in two doses within 28 days of each other. Extra doses were previously provided by the federal government to help ensure people who were eligible for the vaccine had access.
“We've had a pretty steady, steady stream," Holland said. "And we do want to encourage everybody to get their second dose because you don't really get full protection unless you get that second dose.”
He stated that despite consistent interest in a second dose, some have been hesitant because of what happened after they received their first dose of the vaccine.
“There are a lot of people with darker skin, black and brown individuals that got the intradermal vaccine on their forearm and it left a dark spot after it healed," he said.
Holland said this is normal and Board of Health staff are offering to give people the vaccine in alternate places to make sure they are comfortable.
Despite a consistent decline is cases, Holland said it’s important people get their second dose because it insures they’re protected from the virus. He pointed out continuous vaccination will ensure the cases don’t continue to increase.