Phoebe winding down mass vaccination sites

State, Dougherty Co. leaders talk vaccine hesitancy

Phoebe 'winding down' mass vaccination sites

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe will be winding down their mass vaccination sites. This comes after they say they aren’t seeing enough demand at those sites.

Although a specific date hasn’t been set, they say if you want to get vaccinated at one of those sites, you need to call Phoebe now.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kathy Hudson said the first phase of winding down those sites will be to stop first dose vaccinations.

Dr. Kathy Hudson, chief medical officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Kathy Hudson, chief medical officer at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. (Source: WALB)

She said they have plenty of vaccine doses, but not enough people wanting to get the shot.

“Going forward, we will be providing vaccinations at our primary care clinics. At this time, all Phoebe primary cares have vaccinations available and we’ll be expanding that out to our community care and urgent care sites,” said Hudson.

Hudson said they are optimistic they won’t see a fourth surge in our community.

But they are still encouraging people to get vaccinated.

To set up an appointment with Phoebe, you can call (229) 312-1919.

State, local leaders talk vaccine hesitancy:

State, local leaders talk vaccine hesitancy

State Commissioner for Department of Public Health Dr. Kathleen Toomey visited Albany Friday morning. She spoke about what can be done to get more people vaccinated.

Toomey said the best way for people to trust the vaccine is to see others get it and do well after.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner.
Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner. (Source: WALB)

“I really believe that the greatest influence of people being vaccinated is seeing their friends, family members, their religious leaders, others who are close to them get that vaccination, do well and be able to do the things that we want to do,” said Toomey.

Strategies like taking a friend to get vaccinated or providing clear information about the vaccine could help people trust it more.

In a statewide survey, Emory University found 50% of people said they want to know more about the vaccine.

Bo Dorough, Albany mayor
Bo Dorough, Albany mayor (Source: WALB)
Chris Cohilas, Dougherty County commission chairman
Chris Cohilas, Dougherty County commission chairman (Source: WALB)

Albany Mayor Bo Dorough said the CDC team that visited last week gave Dougherty County praise.

“They found that our vaccination sites are readily accessible, that scheduling is uncomplicated, that vaccination information is well-publicized and readily available,” said Dorough.

He said they’re struggling to get Hispanics, African-Americans, the homeless and people under 40 vaccinated.

He believes pop-up vaccination sites will help.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said they’re seeing the vaccine make an impact.

“As our vaccination numbers have gone up, our number of sick people have gone down. The number of people on respirators has gone down,” Cohilas said.

Dr. Charles Ruis, Southwest Health District director
Dr. Charles Ruis, Southwest Health District director (Source: WALB)

Southwest Public Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis said they’re working with a nonprofit organization called “CORE” to create two mobile teams.

“We will identify strategic locations where they can go and provide vaccinations in particular locations, where people may be reluctant to come to a facility, like a doctor’s office or health department to get a vaccine,” said Ruis.

Ruis said CORE, or Community Organized Relief Effort, will be in Albany, in the next 10 days.

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