Local Churches Granted Access to Vaccine

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- You can find a church sitting on just about any corner in Chattanooga.

That’s why Pastor Steve Caudle of Greater Second Baptist is disappointed in how the Hamilton County Health Department handles reaching out to the black community.

“The approach of just going through two mega churches is disrespectful, ineffective, inefficient” said Pastor Caudle.

The two mega churches, Mt. Canaan and Olivet Baptist, were initially selected by the health department to transport members of their institutions, 75 or older, to receive covid-19 vaccines.

“We were able to partner with the pastors of those churches during the summer months, as well as during the fall” said Bill Ulmer from the Hamilton County Health Department. “During the summer it was to provide or to offer covid-19 testing and then in the fall it was to provide flu vaccine.”

News 12 spoke with Kevin Adams, Senior Pastor of Olivet Baptist, “We’ve officiated so many funerals. So many covid deaths. We want it made available to them.”

“Do you feel like this is setting a bad precedent for the churches that have not been granted this access yet” asked by News 12’s Winston Reed.

“No. No, no, no. Any church in the community can contact us” said Ulmer.

“There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the way that the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County goes about approaching the black churches here in Chattanooga” said Pastor Caudle.

Pastor Caudle suggest that the county and city should start creating a line of communication with the black church associations the community.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News

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