Dougherty Co. Task Force discusses vaccines and vaccination sites

Dougherty Co. Task Force discusses vaccines and vaccination sites

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -The external affairs supervisor said the GEMA vaccination site had a little over 1,000 people registered for appointments Friday. Leaders discussed the importance of using the site, as well as why they started off so low.

The GEMA vaccination site will no longer be taking drive-ups.

External Affair Supervisor Lisa Rodriguez-Presley said they never intended to accept drive-ups.

“We’ve been seeing dramatic increases in the number of people who have been coming to the site to get the vaccination,” said Rodriguez-Presley.

Dougherty County Chairman Christopher Cohilas said the site saw a lower turnout because Dougherty County did an outstanding job of getting people vaccinated.

“Dougherty County is in the top five most vaccinated counties in the entire state of Georgia,” said Cohilas.

He said according to the Department of Public Health there have been over 35,000 vaccines administered in Dougherty County.

Now that the vaccine is becoming available to more people on March 8, Albany Mayor Bo Dorough said Gov. Brian Kemp expressed confidence regarding the vaccine supply.

Dr. Charles Ruis Director at Southwest Health District said many of the schools in Southwest Georgia have plans for getting their staff vaccinated.

“The superintendents are doing a good job of seeing that there’s a plan for teachers and the school staff to have access to those vaccines,” said Dr. Ruis.

Dr. Ruis said they are going by the honor system. They expect anyone who claims to be a caregiver to explain what service they provide, the relationship to the recipient, and the reason why the assistance is needed.

Dr. James Black encouraged everyone to continue to wash their hands and wear their masks as spring break is around the corner.

He also said there are misconceptions around the vaccine.

“The vaccine does not contain coronavirus. It does not contain live viruses there are some vaccines that do this is not one of them, so you can not get coronavirus from the vaccination,” said Dr. Black.

He said there have been no deaths tied to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The vaccine is just an additional part of our fight against the spread and the severity of this disease,” said Black.

Coroner Michael Fowler said the death rate has gone down. He said as of Feb. 26, the total number of lives lost to COVID-19 are 271.

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