ELBERTON, Ga. (AP/WSAV) — A northeast Georgia medical practice that disobeyed state guidelines and vaccinated teachers has lost its appeal to have its supply of COVID-19 vaccines reinstated.
However, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says it will send more vaccines to five other sites in Elbert County to ensure residents have local access to the vaccine. The additional 2,100 doses will go to the Elbert County Health Department, Elbert Memorial Hospital, Ingles, Madden Pharmacy and MedLink.
DPH suspended its supply of vaccines to the Medical Center of Elberton until July 27 after officials learned the clinic was giving shots to Elbert County school district employees. State officials acted amid demands from school leaders that teachers be moved into the group currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp says there is already too much demand for limited vaccine supply without teachers competing for shots.
“Every Georgian deserves protection from COVID-19, and healthcare providers around the state are working to make that a reality,” a statement from DPH reads, in part, adding, “It is critical that DPH maintains the highest standards for vaccine accountability to ensure all federal and state requirements are adhered to by all parties, and vaccine is administered efficiently and equitably.”
State officials say the Medical Center of Elberton can use their current vaccine inventory to administer second doses. Any leftover supply will be picked up and redistributed in Elbert County.