Doctors say vaccination rates continue to decrease as vaccine expiration dates near


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – State and local health officials continue to encourage Georgians to get vaccinated. Doctors say they’re not seeing vaccination rates where they need to be.

Across the state, health officials say those who are younger aren’t rolling up their sleeves.

“As you come down in each segment of age every 10 years or so it just drops lower, lower and lower,” Health Director with the Coastal Health District Dr. Lawton Davis said.

Davis said the Coastal Empire has an abundance of vaccines available ready to be put in arms. Some doses will expire within the next six weeks.

“At this point if somebody comes in and wants a dose of vaccine and we have to open a new vile that means we may be at risk of losing four or five doses,” he said.

Earlier this year, the district was giving more than 8,000 shots every week. Now, that number is less than 1,000 shots per week.

“Just in public health, I’d love to see us doing over 1,000 to 1,500 a week at a minimum,” Davis said.

Georgia Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey is crisscrossing the state touring counties to urge people to get vaccinated. One of her stops was in the Hostess City on Wednesday.

“Please if you haven’t, get vaccinated. We have so many opportunities for vaccinations throughout the state,” Toomey said.

As hospitalizations drop, doctors continue to warn about COVID-19 variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, one of concern.

Davis believes as we look at the vaccination rates and herd immunity, he wants to start looking at how many people have had COVID-19 and recovered because those who have had it developed an immune response to the virus.

“So I don’t think it’s fair to say we only have 34 percent herd immunity,” Davis said. “We know that a lot of people who’ve had the infection and have recovered, you can add those numbers to the people who have been vaccinated.”

Vaccination events are still happening in the area. J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care is partnering with the Oglethorpe Mall on Thursday to get the community’s vaccination numbers up.

It will take place at 12:30 p.m. inside the mall between Versona and Macy’s.

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