SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Chatham County Health Department is down to giving only about 200 COVID-19 shots a week compared to the 1,400 a day they were administering earlier this year.
Dr. Lawton Davis, director of the Coastal Health District, says much of the current vaccine supply may go to waste by the end of the month.
“My guess is that we will have several hundred doses that will have to return as expired, just because we don’t have the demand to use it,” he said.
Davis says no one who wants a shot is being turned away and still, as many as nine doses are going unused every day.
Meanwhile, the Delta variant is getting stronger. Some experts believe one infected person can spread the virus strain to as many as eight people.
“The most infectious virus we know of is measles, and I think it’s somewhere around 16,” Davis explained, “but there are very few that are in the seven to nine range.”
“If, in fact, the Delta variant truly is there,” he added.
Chatham County’s community COVID-19 transmission index is now over 150. In the past, that number led to the implementation of a mask mandate in some cities, including Savannah.
“It’s climbing very rapidly and, unfortunately, I think it will get worse before it gets better,” said Davis.
He says the low vaccination rates, the July Fourth weekend crowds and the arrival of Delta variant in coastal Georgia are all factors driving this outbreak.
“Which is why we all think it’s so important that as many people as possible get vaccinated,” said Davis. “That’s still our best and safest method to put the breaks on this thing.”
Georgia’s vaccination rate is at 40%. Chatham County’s rate has been 41% for two weeks.
The county reported another COVID-19 death Wednesday, for the second day in a row. The state of Georgia reported 16 new deaths on Wednesday.