Coastal Health District administers 100,000th dose of COVID vaccine

Coastal Health District administers 100,000th dose of COVID vaccine

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A huge milestone for vaccine distribution in Chatham County. The Coastal Health District has given out over 100,000 vaccines.

While that is a lot of doses given out, Ginger Heidel, risk communicator for the Coastal Health District, said they are still seeing a high demand of people who are scheduling to get their appointments. Especially now that the eligibility expanded just this past week.

Heidel said the Coastal Health District was the first part of Georgia to get the vaccine, so seeing how far they’ve come over the year and hitting this milestone makes her very proud of their team.

“Each dose is its own victory for us, but also for the person who’s getting the vaccine. To have given 100,000 of them in a pretty short time, a vaccination program that’s only a few months old, that’s pretty remarkable and we’re very proud,” Heidel said.

“We were the first location in Georgia to actually receive vaccine and so that was a huge deal, not just for us but for the whole state, and that was on December 14. We gave our first vaccination.”

While this is a lot of doses given, Heidel says the vaccine is still in high demand. Many people are still scheduling their appointments. Especially since the eligibility expansion last week.

“We’re just thrilled to be in a phase where we can actually give someone an action that they can take that actually will provide long-lasting protection.”

Heidel says hitting this milestone means their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.

“Being able to offer vaccine to our community really gets at the heart of what we do and so we’re really proud of our team for taking this on and doing such a good job with it.”

Organizations like GEMA are also working hard to vaccinate the community. Thousands of people have taken advantage of the mass vaccination site at Gulfstream. However, starting Tuesday a new change will go into effect.

“Beginning tomorrow we are not going to be taking walk-ups at the site anymore. You will have to be in a vehicle, you will need to drive through,” said Lisa Rodriguez-Preseley, External Affairs Supervisor, GEMA Homeland Security.

Rodriguez-Preseley says they’re enforcing this because they noticed people parking and walking up to skip the line. She says they are working as fast as they can to get people in and out and recommends people carpool.

“We can do multiple people in a single vehicle, so if you’ve got a car that seats four people put you and three of your friends in there and you can come up and we’ll put a vaccination in each window,” said Rodriguez-Preseley.

Representatives from GEMA and the Coastal Health District both say they’re excited to continue administering vaccines and getting closer to putting a stop to the pandemic.

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