Health officials offer free shots at early voting

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

CONYERS -- If you like multitasking, you can accomplish two good things at once this week by voting and getting your vaccines up to date at the Newton County Administration Building. The Newton County Health Center has set up shop in the lobby of the building located at 1113 Usher St. and is offering free vaccines to people 18 to 64 years of age.

When you're finished with the injection, you can walk down the hall to the Board of Elections and cast your ballot for the July 20 Primary Election.

The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Friday.

Newton County voters are able to cast an early ballot in person this week at the Board of Elections office and avoid long waits Tuesday.

The vaccinations offered are:

  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis/Whooping Cough) available for people 18-64 years of age. The vaccine is not licensed for people 65 years of age and older.

  • Pneumococcal Vaccine: a one-time pneumonia vaccine, available for people 65 years of age and older.

Proof of voting is not required. The vaccinations will also be available without cost at the Newton County Health Department clinic at 8203 Hazelbrand Road, located behind the Newton County Library on Floyd Street, this week and on Election Day.

The "Vote and Vaccination" program is funded by federal stimulus money appropriated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Officials said although children receive the Tdap vaccination as a requirement for admission to public schools, protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time.

Adolescents and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children.

The vaccination effort here is part of a nationwide effort, according to a press release from the East Metro Health District, which includes Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties.

"During elections, thousands are expected to vote at their local community polling places," said Dr. Lloyd Hofer, director for the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale county health departments. "The Vote and Vaccinate campaign is one more way we can reach our at-risk population and encourage them to get vaccinated."

For more information, call 770-786-9086.