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‘Demand for this vaccine is skyrocketing’: North Central Health District prepares to vaccinate first responders, adults 65 and older – 13WMAZ.com

Posted: January 8, 2021 at 8:50 pm

The NCHD has requested 7,000 doses from the state, but has only received 5,000 so far. As of Jan. 8th, they have administered a little over 1,300 doses.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. Next week, Central Georgia first responders and adults 65 and over are one step closer to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District says right now, they are still vaccinating only healthcare workers and long term care residents, but on Monday, they will open up the hotline for people like Officer Greg Martin.

"I've had my apprehensions about it, but I think that I probably am going to sign up to get it," says Martin. "I have a lot of people that I know, family and friends, that have gotten the coronavirus. I don't want to get it and if that's going to prevent me or help me from getting it, then yeah, I'm probably going to sign up to get it just as a precautionary measure."

Martin is with the Warner Robins Police Department and says he is glad vaccinations have opened up for first responders.

"We come in contact with hundreds of people a day. We don't know where those people have been, don't know what kind of precautions those people have taken. We don't know if they are positive or not."

Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District says so far, they have received 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, even though they have requested 7,000.

"We do not control the supply of the vaccine. We do not control how many doses we get."

So far, they've administered a little over 1,300 doses.

He says when you call, don't expect your appointment to be the next day. It could be weeks later.

"We know that the demand for this vaccine is skyrocketing as more and more people become eligible for getting the vaccine, so all we can ask for is your patience. We want to get you the vaccine, but it is going to take some time."

The South Central Health District is having a two-day drive-thru clinic for Laurens County residents.

That will be at Southern Pines Recreational Park January 13th and 14th.

Hokanson says they are being strict with appointments and which health department you will need to go to because the 10 doses in each vial expire six hours after it is opened.

"The problem is we have to schedule around each one of those vials of 10 doses to ensure that we are not wasting any of this very, very limited resource," he says.

They'll have no trouble using up the vaccines they've already gotten, according to Hokanson.

"They're not just sitting in freezers. They are being used."

He says they are preparing to have the hotline full of callers trying to make their appointment, but they'll have to be patient.

"It's just a matter of making sure we are able to meet this high, high demand for getting the vaccine. Once again, that is contingent upon A) the vaccine we receive, which we have no control over how much we receive and B) our manpower, which has already been extremely limited throughout this COVID-19 response."

Hokanson also says you cannot call to schedule an appointment for your second dose immediately after your first. You'll have to wait until the week you are due for the second shot to call.

They are also asking for volunteers to help with what they know will be a busy few months. They need people with an active license who are authorized to administer vaccines in the state of Georgia to register via SERVGA.

First responders and adults 65 years or older and their caregivers can call the hotline starting Monday at 1-844-987-0099 to make your appointment.

Once you arrive to actually get your vaccine, you will be required to show identification or a work ID.

Originally posted here:
'Demand for this vaccine is skyrocketing': North Central Health District prepares to vaccinate first responders, adults 65 and older - 13WMAZ.com

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