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COVID-19 vaccinations now available, per DPH

After nearly a year of panic, harsh lockdowns around the country and much nervous waiting, the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to the public. This week marks the beginning of the Georgia Southwest Health District making appointments for vaccinations. Plans to distribute the vaccine are currently in Phase 1A, with certain criteria for vaccination. They include:
-Those age 65 and older;
-Working in a healthcare setting with direct contact to patients;
-Working in a setting with direct contact to the COVID-19 pathogen;
-And those working in a long-term care setting.
Anyone who does not meet these criteria but still wishes to be vaccinated should keep posted for updates in availability.

According to Karen Snyder, the Public Information Officer with the Georgia Department of Public Health, 700 doses have been delivered, with 100 doses having been administered so far. While health workers are encouraged to receive the vaccine, it is not mandatory. Also according to Snyder, local phone lines have been “overwhelmed” with calls for appointments.

The vaccine is also available at the MainStreet Family Care clinic, specifically the Moderna vaccine, which requires two shots administered at different times. MainStreet offers online registration for same-day vaccination, which opens two hours before the clinic opens. That said, customers should expect a wait time for registration and to receive an appointment, as only 10 vaccines will be offered per day at the clinic. According to Betsy Stewart, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Mainstreet, “In Bainbridge, we’ve administered 20 vaccines so far, and companywide we’ve administered 700.”

According to Lee Johnson at Memorial Hospital and Manor, they have received 300 doses of the vaccine, and have successfully administered 80 to their staff, with 26 more scheduled. They are only vaccinating their staff at this time.

Check official sites to see when distribution moves to Phase 1B.