Winter conditions around the country are having significant effects on COVID-19 vaccination shipments to Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Health received notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that due to the temperature, all Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that would have arrived in the beginning of this week were kept back by the suppliers, according to a press release from the DPH.
As a result, several state-wide providers, including health officials, are being required to reschedule vaccine appointments. Appointments for rescheduling will depend on when shipments arrive in Georgia. It is expected that delays will persist throughout the week, according to the release.
In anticipation of the winter season, a small number of vaccines left the processing centers and tracking numbers were allocated. DPH demanded that, as soon as weather conditions permit, those shipments be released and shipped. DPH will continue to notify suppliers of vaccines as to where to anticipate their vaccine allocations.
People should be contacted by their provider for rescheduling their visit, the DPH said in the release. For people who are due to obtain second doses of vaccination who are concerned that they may not be vaccinated after 3 or 4 weeks, the CDC recommends that second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations can be given up to 6 weeks after the first dose.
Additionally, Gov. Brian Kemp held a press conference Thursday, revealing the launch of four mass vaccination sites in Georgia.
Kemp began by addressing the fall in COVID-19 numbers over the past seven days. He said there has been a decline of 70% since January, as well as a decrease of 55% in hospitalizations.
Kemp declared that on Monday, Feb. 22, the state will launch four state-operated mass vaccination centers. The target is for 22,000 vaccines to be administered every week.
The vaccination centers will be housed at the Delta Air Museum in Fulton County, in Macon at the Farmers Market on Eisenhower Parkway, Habersham County and Albany.
In addition, the only people who will be able to participate will be the ones that fall under the 1A+ phase laid out by the CDC. This includes first responders and service staff, and people who are 65 and older.
Kemp said these mass vaccination centers are going to run much like every GEMA state-operated facility. Additionally, the state launched a website to help Georgians register for the vaccinations more easily.
Both Walmart and Kroger are accepting federal government express shipments, and eligible insurance professionals will likely be able to do so as well.
According to the DPH, as of Feb. 18, 1,606,622 vaccinations have been administered statewide — this is about 82% of the total vaccinations available for administration. 1,102,870 of these administered vaccinations were the first dose and 503,752 were the second dose. 1,958,100 vaccinations have been shipped to Georgia and of those 1,139,100 are Moderna vaccinations, and 819,000 are Pfizer vaccinations.
ACC has administered 27,095 vaccinations and of those 17,711 were the first dose and 9,384 were the second dose.