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Dougherty Co. leaders hope vaccine site will increase community immunity

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County residents can get their COVID-19 vaccine and $100 on Saturday.

Health care organizations will be giving out free vaccines at the Albany Civic Center.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO Joe Austin said in the past week, they’ve had 13 deaths.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO Joe Austin said in the past week, they’ve had 13 deaths.(WALB)

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO Joe Austin said in the past week, they’ve had 13 deaths.

Austin said many of the patients that fill their hospitals are unvaccinated.

“That’s why I think the community-wide event is so important. We all know the consequences of not getting vaccinated,” he said.

Dougherty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Christopher Cohilas said the drive-thru is an incentive program to help Dougherty County reach 75% fully vaccinated residents.

Dougherty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Christopher Cohilas said the drive-thru is an...
Dougherty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Christopher Cohilas said the drive-thru is an incentive program to help Dougherty County reach 75% fully vaccinated residents.(WALB)

Each person over 18 who gets a vaccine also gets a $100 Visa gift card.

“These are not taxpayer funds. These are American Rescue Plan funds that we received from the federal government. No local taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said Cohilas.

He said this event will be a big help in increasing Dougherty County’s immunity overall.

“There are a lot of people that are dying, and that’s unfortunate, sad, and horrible, but we have a proven tool that is very helpful in getting us stronger, healthier, and happier as a community,” said Cohilas.

Austin said another reason to get vaccinated is because of the virus’ effect on children.

“In the past month, almost 25% of new cases in this country have been pediatric cases. Please get vaccinated for your children or grandchildren. You could give it to one of your children. None of us want that,” said Austin.

Austin said vaccination will also help with health care workers’ workload.

“They are tired. It’s been 18 months that we’ve been in this battle. If you really want to support them, please get vaccinated. That’s the No. 1 way you can help our staff,” said Austin.

The vaccination drive-thru will be Saturday at the Albany Civic Center from 8 a.m-1 p.m.

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