Ga. DPH looking for volunteers to help with COVID-19 vaccines

Ga. DPH looking for volunteers to help with COVID-19 vaccines

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Public Health is looking for volunteers to help with COVID-19 vaccines.

“Georgia Responds” is the state’s medical and volunteer program. It matches people with medical and non-medical skills to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and advance EMS professionals could be used to help administer vaccines. And people who are not certified health professionals can still volunteer to help.

“Non-medical volunteers could be used in administer roles like registering individuals for vaccinations, data input, language interpretation, guidance and assistance and vaccination administration sites and other administration roles,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said.

Georgia will begin receiving 16 percent more COVID-19 vaccines weekly - 25,000 more doses. That’ll bring the total to 145,000 vaccines each week.

However state and health leaders across the country are disappointed with how slowly the vaccine is being distributed.

Mayor Johnson says the city will continue to help the health department in any way to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and administer doses of vaccines, including offering up city employees and facilities for the effort.

“The process to this date has not been as favorable as we want it to be so we recognize that public health is the public’s responsibility. We’re all in,” he said.

Areas across the Coastal Empire are shifting their efforts to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine on a larger scale. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson says they’ve told the Coastal Health District the city is willing to do everything they can to accelerate the process.

“We have buildings across the city that are strategically located that we can have to be used for vaccine distribution. They’re in neighborhoods that are closest to the people. We have personnel that include paramedics and EMTs are able to give vaccinations.”

Tuesday at his weekly news conference, the Mayor called for medical and non-medical volunteers to help with the distribution effort.

He says people are already responding to that call. Additionally, he wants the state to do more beyond encouraging people to follow COVID-19 protocols.

“I call again for Governor Kemp to mandate that Georgia finally has a state wide mask mandate so that our cities in our state don’t have different rules. We should all be under one rule should be able to help to get past this thing that means that masks should be required not only in a public space but also in a private space.”

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