Memorial hosting family vaccine clinic as new school year approaches, COVID cases continue to rise

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 5:55 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County is still at 41 percent of residents fully vaccinated, which is higher than the state of Georgia as a whole - at 39 percent.

As vaccination numbers hold steady, COVID case numbers locally are on the rise again. Hospitals are seeing a rise in COVID patients this week. Dr. Thacker at Memorial Health say they are around 12 admitted and the majority of them are under 65 and not vaccinated.

Countywide, we are at 35 hospitalizations due to COVID, which is the highest Chatham County has seen since March.

The community transmission index, which shows the newly confirmed cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days, has doubled since the end of June.

To get case numbers lower again, Dr. Stephen Thacker says we still need to increase vaccination rates not just in the county, but even in neighborhoods within Chatham County.

“Perhaps what is most important is thinking about your neighborhood and the people you interact with. We have neighborhoods in our county where the rate of vaccination is just above 20 percent, so these are communities that are certainly at risk. I would advise everyone to take a look and think about their questions around the COVID-19 vaccine and get the answers you need,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, Memorial Health.

Dr. Thacker says the reasoning is a combination of relaxed public guidelines, summer gatherings, and a variant that is easier to spread from person to person. Because of those things, he expects for case numbers to continue to rise over the next few weeks.

Memorial Health is giving one final push to get people vaccinated before the school year starts. They will host a clinic Thursday, July 15 at Memorial Health’s Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah for families to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic will be from 5-7 p.m. and they are telling families to plan on just 30 minutes from when you walk in the door to get your whole family vaccinated.

They will be giving out first doses of the Pfizer vaccine to anyone 12 and older and second doses to those who attended their first clinic three weeks ago.

Memorial Health had a few families come to the last one with medically fragile children who were glad they could come to that environment for the vaccine. Dr. Stephen Thacker says they gave about 20 shots last time and while he hoped that number would be higher, he says it’s still worth it.

“Any person that we can get vaccinated is a win in my book, even if we stay open and we only get one more vaccine into an arm, it is well worth it. I certainly encourage members of our community to look around at the rising cases and choose now as the right time to pursue vaccination to protect yourself and your community,” Dr. Thacker said.

They will hold a follow up clinic three weeks from Thursday to give out the second doses.

Everyone is welcome at Thursday’s clinic and no appointment is needed.

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