Public Health prepared for COVID-19 vaccine release

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Southwest Public Health District 8-2 is working diligently to prepare for the arrival and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

While the exact arrival date for the vaccine has yet to be determined (as of December 10, 2020), the staff within Southwest Health District 8-2 is ready to begin distribution as soon as that date is finalized and the first allotment of vaccine is received.

Nationwide the allotment of vaccine will be limited initially. With the uncertain amount of vaccine that will be available at the launch, Southwest Health District does not know currently how many vaccines will be received in the initial allotment.

Due to this limited supply, when a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by FDA and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination will follow the tiered approach recommended by the ACIP. This will help ensure that those considered the highest risk have first access to the vaccine. 

“Our long-term plan is to offer COVID vaccinations at all Health Departments in Southwest Georgia’s 14-county Public Health District. We will likely offer drive-through options in addition to providing the vaccine at the time other services are sought inside the Health Departments,” said District Health Director Dr. Charles Ruis. “Our clinical and emergency preparedness staff has been working closely to ensure that, once vaccine sites are able to open, the process of getting a vaccine will be as smooth as possible for the residents of our district.”

Free COVID-19 testing continues to be available across the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Southwest Health District. Self-registration for COVID testing is available online at covid19.dph.ga.gov. Alternatively, appointments can be made, Monday through Friday by calling 229-352-6567.

For the most up-to-date information on Covid-19 vaccination and public health’s response within this district, visit the website at www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org. All updates will be posted to the district’s social media accounts and everyone is encourage to like and/or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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