SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District announced Wednesday plans to begin the expanded Phase 1 rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Coastal Health District will begin scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments on Thursday, Jan. 7 with the following groups:
- Adults age 65 and older
- Caregivers of adults 65 and older
- Emergency first responders
- Health care workers
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
Director of the Coastal Health District Dr. Lawton Davis broke it down like this, they predict this expanded group includes about 50,000 people here in Chatham County alone and add another 50,000 throughout the Coastal Health District. That means they have to give 200,000 shots.
Because of this he is asking for patience from the public and help from local providers who can help administer the vaccine.
He says the Coastal Health District has enough vaccine to administer second doses and continue with their schedule this week and start next week, but how long that will last depends on the supply line.
Dr. Davis says they have gotten regular shipments, though the total of those vary. He says if they have excess vaccine they plan to share it with the hospitals to administer to the public.
Because it’s a big job and they expect to be inundated with calls for appointments Thursday.
“Even though we’re adding telephones, answering capacity I fully expect the demand to be, to exceed our capacity so just be patient. You know we’re not trying to stonewall anybody. We will be answering the phones as rapidly as we can and we want everybody to have access to this. But again, I also want to encourage people to check with their local pharmacy,” Dr. Davis said.
The supply of vaccine will drive how they move forward, but so too is how much help they get from local providers to help administer the vaccine.
Because right now as they administer first and second doses simultaneously, they are challenged.
“If you stop and think about it that cuts the throughput of new people basically in half because half of our vaccination capacity goes to giving a second dose. That’s why this whole process has not been quite as rapid as a lot of people would like it to be.”
He says you can also reach out to your primary care provider to see if they will offer the vaccine.
When you do call to make an appointment, you’ll need to give some information with age verification required at the time of the vaccination.
The Coastal Health District states that appointments must be made via phone. Vaccination appointments are expected to begin on Monday, Jan. 11.
- Chatham County Health Department (Eisenhower & Midtown) - (912) 230-5506
- Glynn County Health Department- (912) 264-3961
- Bryan County Health Department – Pembroke - (912) 653-4331
- Bryan County Health Department – Richmond Hill - (912) 756-2611
- Camden County Health Department – St. Marys - (912) 882-8515
- Camden County Health Department – Woodbine - (912) 576-3040
- Effingham County Health Department - (912) 754-6484
- Liberty County Health Department - (912) 876-2173
- Long County Health Department - (912) 545-2107
- McIntosh County Health Department - (912) 832-5473