Local COVID-19 vaccine providers see increase in interest

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As the world learns more about the omicron variant, more people are getting vaccinated.

Providers in Chatham County said the new strain of the virus — mixed in with the holidays and flu season — is doubling the number of vaccines given daily.

“We’ve seen a significant increase this past week,” said Sierra Peebles, Chatham County Health Department’s nurse manager. “Alone today, we have 273 appointments at one of our locations.”

Just a few weeks ago, Peebles said the health department’s three clinics were averaging 100 vaccines per day. Despite the increase in interest, the nurse manager said they still have ample appointments and vaccine supply.

“We’re prepared every day,” Peebles said. “We want those 400 plus appointments to be filled every single day, so regardless of how many appointments are filled each day, we still have the same number of staff available, we still have the same number of vaccine available.”

It’s the same story at local pharmacies.

“We definitely saw an uptick in vaccines around Thanksgiving with people traveling, coming into town, leaving town,” said Dr. Neal Hollis, owner of Georgetown Drug Company.

Hollis said he was expecting an uptick in vaccine interest based on last winter’s COVID surge.

“We kind of ordered a lot more than I think we need but at the same time if we don’t use them we can allocate them to other locations,” Hollis said.

The pharmacy is giving up to 30 vaccines a day — double what they were doing just weeks ago.

According to the latest data from the health department, 52% of Chatham County residents are fully vaccinated. As COVID cases start to creep up, providers encourage folks to consider getting the shot.

“With the new variant, if you are on the fence with the holidays coming up, if you want to protect yourself and your family, we highly encourage you to get vaccinated because again it is safe,” Peebles said.

You can schedule an appointment for a vaccine at one of the health department’s clinics here.

Georgetown Drug Company does walk-in vaccines Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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