Valdosta leaders encourage vaccinations

Valdosta leaders encourage vaccinations

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -With COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opening up for everyone 16 and older in the state, City of Valdosta officials say they’re on a mission to encourage everyone to get the shot.

Valdosta joined the “It’s Worth A Shot” campaign.

“We are really excited, we’ve had a lot of people, residents in the community who may not have been in that first list or those first groups released, we’ve had a lot of them call and wanting to get the vaccine, so there’s a lot of desire,” Ashlyn Johson, city’s public information officer.

With a goal of getting 100 percent of the community vaccinated, the city kicked off a social media campaign with the Georgia Municipal Association.

It highlights council members and city leaders who’ve gotten the vaccine.

They want to show the community it’s safe.

“Well I had the COVID back in January and so I had to wait. So I was in the hospital for 13 days with it so I was glad to get it. I kept calling ‘can I get it, can I get it now’. I’m eager to get it,” said Sharon Rykard, who received her first shot Wednesday.

SGMC drive-thru COVID vaccinations.
SGMC drive-thru COVID vaccinations. (Source: WALB)

She tells us she feared catching COVID-19 again and not knowing what the outcome would be a second time around.

“I just think I like to live a long time, I have great-grandbabies. I want them to get it too when they can,” said Rykard.

Nam Phuong Tran got her second shot, making her fully vaccinated once it makes it through her system.

Tran says she now feels safer.

“Well, just get your vaccine, I know there’s are a lot of myths around having the vaccine,” said Tran.

Tran encourages those becoming eligible, not to hesitate, so more people can help stop the spread.

South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) says they aim to have a community of immunity.

SGMC drive-thru vaccinations.
SGMC drive-thru vaccinations. (Source: WALB)

SGMC said they’ve vaccinated about 20,000 people so far.

The hospital can vaccinate about 750 or more per day.

Starting March 25, those younger than 18 need to have a legal guardian present to sign a consent form for the vaccine. Those younger than 18 can only receive Pfizer.

“We are so excited that the younger population are now eligible because these are the potential super spreaders and here with Spring Break, we need everyone to be vaccinated to protect our older communities and sicker populations,” said Jodi Johnson, ER Pharmacist at SGMC.

To find a vaccine provider near you, click here.

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