SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry in mid-December, and officials say they’re working quickly to expand availability.

Health departments are following a phased approach, prioritizing those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.

Two shots of the same product are needed for complete protection against the virus. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two shots separated by 21 days; Moderna requires two shots separated by 28 days.

Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health is accumulating a list of vaccination sites to include providers outside of public health. Visit here to view the running list.

Coastal Health District

Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long and McIntosh counties

courtesy Coastal Health District

The Coastal Health District (CHD) has paused appointment scheduling for new requests. Officials say individuals who are already in their system, waiting for a call back, will still be given an appoinment.

Visit here to sign up for notifications when CHD resumes scheduling appointments.

The district is currently vaccinating the following groups:

  • Adults age 65 and older
  • Caregivers of adults 65 and older
  • Emergency first responders
  • Health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities

Patients are asked to complete CHD’s COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Form and bring it with them to their appointment.

Southeast Health District

Serves 16 counties, including Appling, Bacon, Bulloch, Candler, Coffee, Evans, Jeff Davis, Tattnall, Toombs and Wayne

The following groups are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Southeast Health District’s (SHD) mass vaccination sites:

  • Health care workers in clinical settings (e.g., nurses, physicians, EMS, laboratory technicians, environmental services)
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities
  • All law enforcement and fire personnel (including volunteer departments)
  • Adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable)

At this time, SHD is only scheduling appointments through their call center at 1-855-473-4374. Hours are 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday. If you receive an after-hours message during those times, SHD says to disregard and try to call again.

Patients are asked to complete SHD’s COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Form and bring it with them to their appointment.

South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control

Serves the Palmetto State, including Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties

courtesy South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control

South Carolina is in Phase 1a of the Department of Environmental Health and Control’s (DHEC) vaccination plan.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 13, any South Carolina resident who is at least 70 years old can schedule their appointment for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents will be asked to provide a driver’s license or other form of ID at their appointment that confirms their age and, therefore, their eligibility to receive vaccine.

The DHEC Care Line is available at 1-855-472-3432 for assistance with scheduling an appointment. The department has also launched an online map showing locations accepting appointments for the vaccine.

At this time, two local hospitals are accepting appointments:

Beaufort Memorial has closed its call center until more vaccine supply is available.

Publix

A limited number of vaccines are available at select Publix pharmacies in local Georgia and South Carolina counties. Most locations are fully booked, but availability can be viewed online at the following links:

Kroger

Limited quantities are also available at select Kroger locations in our area. Appointments have quickly filled up. To check availability, visit here.