SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia’s eight mass vaccination sites will close on May 21.
Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) officials say the move comes after they’ve seen a decrease in the number of Georgians getting vaccinated.
GEMA has confirmed to WSAV News 3 that the 13-week contract will expire and there are no plans to extend it.
Over 300,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered at these sites. In a statement on Monday, Governor Brian Kemp said it’s now the state’s job to work closely with local providers. WSAV News 3 spoke with local providers who say they’ve seen a decrease in people wanting to get vaccinated as well.
“I think with them closing, I’m not going to say it’s a good thing, but if only one person goes out there to get a shot and you’ve punctured that vile that’s nine other doses that are wasted,” Georgetown Drug Company pharmacist and owner, Neil Hollis said.
His staff started vaccinating people in February with the Moderna and the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccines. So far they’ve done 750 inoculations.
“I feel like us having the open door policy and not just allowing just appointments only gives those people that may have a chance to get out that one or two days to come in and get the vaccine,” Hollis said.
Scott Pierce with Coastal Care Partners said his team has also seen a decrease in people wanting shots. His vaccine supply is outweighing the demand. Pierce said he has thousands of the Pfizer vaccine, more than 1,500 doses of Johnson and Johnson, and 1,200 doses of Moderna.
“I do think that a lot of Georgians have reached the point that where most people that want to get vaccinated have been vaccinated,” Pierce said.
As the demand for the vaccine continues to drop, Pierce urges getting vaccinated as parts of the nation are starting to see COVID cases surge.
“We’re seeing devastating stories coming out of India the past week or so. obviously, we don’t want to get to that point,” Pierce said.
The mass vaccination sites will begin providing only the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and second doses of Pfizer to ensure vaccination cycles are complete. After April 30, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will not be available.