Phoebe discusses booster vaccinations and volunteers

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:14 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Phoebe is making plans for the COVID-19 booster vaccine, and they need your help.

They say they need community members to help with sanitizing and cleaning, as well as retired nurses and physicians to give the shots when the boosters get here.

Phoebe’s Emergency Medical Director Dr. James Black said research shows immunity can waiver six to eight months after being fully vaccinated. He said they plan to administer the vaccine in two weeks.

Dr. Black said the booster will help with increasing immunity. This comes as the FDA announced the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine for certain groups.

Dr. James Black Directory of Emergency Medicine at Phoebe
Dr. James Black Directory of Emergency Medicine at Phoebe(WALB)

“The booster program will be an important community effort to protect our vulnerable populations and help prevent new variants,” said Dr. Black.

Dr. Black walked through the groups who may be eligible for the COVID-19 booster.

“People who are at least 65 years of age, individuals ages 18 to 64 that are at high risk for COVID-19, and individuals 18-64 whose frequent exposure at work puts them at a higher risk of exposure,” said Dr. Black.

He said those groups are health care workers and teachers.

Teachers are eligible for the boosters
Teachers are eligible for the boosters(WALB)

Before they start administering the vaccine, Dr. Black said they have to wait for the CDC and the state’s guidance.

They will be opening booster sites in Albany, Americus, and Sylvester. Dr. Black said they will operate like the mass vaccination sites they had back in January.

“We don’t expect they’ll be open weeks on end, but we will operate them as long as we need,” said Dr. Black.

Combatting the surge, Dr. Black said their resources are stretched.

They’re asking for retired nurses and physicians to help give shots, as well as non-clinical volunteers to help with traffic control, greeting, and sanitizing.

“Phoebe will call and contact each volunteer to schedule their shifts,” said Dr. Black.

They also say it’s not too late to get the first dose if you want it.

To set up an appointment call (229) 312-MYMD

Dougherty County Chairman Christopher Cohilas said the vaccine incentive was a success.

Leaders are working to set a date for their next incentivized vaccination event after they vaccinated over 500 Dougherty County residents.

They also got a $100 Visa gift card after being vaccinated.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman, Christopher Cohilas said getting that number of people vaccinated is a huge accomplishment, but it shouldn’t take money for people to get a life-saving vaccine.

Christopher Cohilas, Dougherty County Chairman
Christopher Cohilas, Dougherty County Chairman(WALB)

“I think it’s sad in these instances, we have to pay people to get vaccinated, but that $100 is a very small price to pay in exchange for someone’s life,” said Cohilas.

He added the $100 incentive is less costly than days in a hospital or hospitalized on a ventilator.

They are looking to plan the next event in mid-October.

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