CHATHAM CO., Ga. (WTOC) - Governor Brian Kemp and other state and local officials gave an update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Georgia Thursday morning from the state’s new mass vaccination site in Chatham County.
Gov. Kemp took a tour of one of the state’s newest mass vaccination sites at Gulfstream in Savannah. It opened Wednesday with several appointments still open. The governor want’s Georgians to know how important it is to be vaccinated as it’s helps us move forward.
“People getting vaccinated, us getting to heard immunity is what’s going to cause that. We can do that sooner rather than later. I am very optimistic I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the only way we get there is if people come get the vaccine,” Gov. Kemp said.
According to CDC data, Georgia is underperforming compared to other states in vaccine administration. The governor says that is not for a lack of access as several appointments remain available. He says the southern portion of the state has seen a lot of hesitancy that must be addressed as the eligibility is expanded.
“We have a really broad population of people that are now eligible to get this vaccine. I want to encourage you to come do that. It is safe, it is effective, it is a literally a medical miracle,” Gov. Kemp said.
That sentiment was bi-partisan as Savannah Mayor Van Johnson agrees and encourages people to take advantage of this efficient site meant for all. Leaders at GEMA say for now appointments are not required you can just drive up to get your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“All of this means nothing if people don’t come out and use the site. And I cannot over emphasize that enough that this site is here people are here, they are giving the best of their time and effort and their service, but yet people in Chatham County and even in neighboring counties the site means nothing, their time means nothing unless people come out and make use of this site,” Mayor Johnson said.
While the site did close early for the threat of severe weather Thursday, leaders say they will be back open and ready Friday capable of offering 1,100 first doses a day.
The governor did mention during his visit that vaccine supply is expected to remain steady or increase. So, he plans to open eligibility further in what he says is days not months.