SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Mayor Van Johnson weighed in on the overwhelming demand for vaccines in Chatham County during a news conference Tuesday.
While acknowledging that vaccine demand, Mayor Johnson renewed the call from health district leaders to healthcare providers to enroll with the state to administer doses once they’re available.
The mayor also said the city stands ready to continue its partnership with the Coastal Health District and help in any way they can with vaccine distribution.
“I’m certainly committed from the city to do whatever we can to help, to keep facilities open. If we need to vaccinate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, then we’re willing to partner in any way that the health department determines they need us,” said Mayor Johnson.
Mayor Johnson said that includes opening up any facility they have available, even community centers to make resources more accessible.
State-wide, there are over 1,400 healthcare providers enrolled to help administer the vaccine once they get the doses. One healthcare agency in Chatham County working to get enrolled is Chatham Emergency Services.
Chuck Kearns, CEO of Chatham Emergency Services, said, “It’s part of our mission as a not-for-profit to serve the community, and do what we can to help. So we’re actively looking into hopefully getting permission to administer the vaccine ourselves.”
Kearns added they’ve already identified the first round of medics for that effort, and that several large area companies have reached out to them to help administer vaccine doses to their employees once available.
Monday, Coastal Health District Health Director Dr. Lawton Davis said he’s aware of several large-scale vaccine providers coming online either this week or next week with the capability of giving hundreds of vaccine doses a day.
“They’re not there yet. I’m not prepared to release any names. Some of them are still waiting on vaccine supply, but it’s coming, and they’ll be here in our community very very soon,” said Dr. Davis.
Dr. Davis also said they’re hoping they’ll have an online appointment registry website by the end of this month to streamline the appointment request process.
In the mean time, he encouraged people to sign up to be notified when the ‘pause’ has been lifted on creating new appointments.