SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – An additional 120 thousand more people in the Coastal Health District will soon be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Brian Kemp made the announcement Wednesday night as initial allotments of vaccines are running out, including those in the Coastal Health District.
Expanded vaccine administration now allows people 65-years-old and older, their caregivers, and all first responders to receive both doses of the shot.
“Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group. The expanded administration of vaccine is expected to begin within the next two weeks provided there is adequate vaccine supply available,” explained the Coastal Health District in a statement to News 3.
Dr. Davis says January 11 is the anticipated roll-out date. He says 68-70 percent of the district’s initial allotment of vaccinations has already been administered.
The plan to vaccinate additional people — one that Dr. Davis dubbed Phase 1A+ –will be tricky, due to the fact that healthcare providers will, at the same time, start administering second vaccinations to the first phase of patients.
“We’re going to have to do this collectively through our health care partners and pharmacy partners to make this a reality for folks in this beautiful corner of the world,” said Dr. Davis at a New Year’s Eve press conference.
“I want the public to remember that it won’t be just public health that is doing this. Other providers such as pharmacies, physicians, federally qualified health centers… will also have access to the vaccine and will also be able to administer it to the general public,” explained Dr. Davis.
He is encouraging eligible facilities to enroll their services.
Of those who have been offered the vaccine in the Coastal Health District, Dr. Davis says half are accepting it. At the press conference, he reiterated that “the corners that were cut in bringing this vaccine to the public so quickly were administrative corners, not testing and safety data corners.”
For people who cannot yet get vaccinated, he says be careful, especially during New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“We’re at New Year’s Eve and people are anticiapting parties and gatherings… so I think that’s why most of the national public health experts expect that the [next few months] will not be a lovely sight to see,” said Davis.
Concrete vaccination plans should be available next week.