Winter storms that wreaked havoc on Texas and other parts of country have also affected COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said late Tuesday that vaccine manufacturers held onto shipments that were expected to arrive early in the week because of the weather. The state said the delay would cause many providers to reschedule appointments depending on when the doses finally arrive. Officials have requested the release of a limited number of vaccines in transit ahead of the winter weather.
“DPH is asking the public to be patient as we wait for weather conditions to improve and vaccine shipments to resume,” read the Feb. 16 statement. “Your provider should contact you about rescheduling your appointment.”
White County Public Safety Director David Murphy said a county health department mass vaccination clinic set for Tuesday, Feb. 23, at The Bridge Church in Cleveland remains in place, he said, as well as plans to relocate all health department COVID-19 vaccination efforts to the church beginning March 1 – as vaccine is available.
The White County Health Department is rescheduling appointments for Feb. 17-19 to the Feb. 23 clinic at The Bridge, said Nurse Manager Cindy King. These are first-dose appointments for people over age 65.
“The Bridge event currently has about 700 on the roster,” King said Wednesday afternoon. “We anticipate vaccine will be available as shipments on hold may be released as early as tomorrow.”
Hosting vaccine events at the church campus is part of the public health district’s effort to host operations off-site at locations with more available space while allowing other services to continue at health departments.
DPH says those originally planning to get their second dose three or four weeks after the first one should note that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccines can be administered up to six weeks after the initial dose.
The rate of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in White County did not change significantly over the past week. The seven-day moving daily case average was at 8.1 as of Feb. 16, according to Georgia Department of Public Health data. That’s up from 7.7 on Feb. 9.
For this month, there had been 136 cases reported as of Feb. 16. There were 659 in January and 688 in December.
Officials have encouraged residents to continue to practice steps to limit spread of the virus even as the vaccine rollout continues.
COVID-19 activity in White County
Source: Georgia Department of Public Health Feb. 16 status report
• 2,815 total confirmed cases during pandemic
• 7-day moving average of cases
• 8.1 case average as of Feb. 16
• Up from 7.7 on Feb. 9
• Recent: 13.7 on Feb. 2 and 15.7 on Jan. 25
• 136 cases reported this month through Feb. 16
• January had 659, with December’s 688 being the highest count yet
• 57 deaths attributed to COVID-19
Checking on vaccine availability
Most local appointments are booked, but some providers advise checking back for updates. Information on providers throughout the state is available at dph.georgia.gov.
• White County Health Department and the District 2 Public Health Office
• MedLink Georgia – White County
• Cleveland Drug Company
• Ingles Pharmacy
Availability is posted at www.ingles-markets.com/pharmacy/pg1/pharmacy-sub/vaccinations
• Northeast Georgia Health System / Northeast Georgia Physicians Group
Visit www.nghs.com/covid-19/vaccine-updates or call 678-989-5005 with vaccine questions.
• Habersham Medical Center
CDC advice on slowing the spread
• Mask Up
Wear a mask over your mouth and nose to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
• Social Distance
Stay at least 6 feet (about two arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
• Avoid Crowds
The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. Avoid unnecessary travel.
• Wash Hands Often
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Clean and Disinfect
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
• Monitor Your Health Daily
Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
COVID-19 vaccine rollout
• Who can get it now?
Under Georgia’s Phase 1A+ rollout: Medical personnel, such as those at hospitals, health clinics, EMS and first responders, residents and staff of long-term care facilities (such as nursing homes), adults ages 65 and older, law enforcement officers and firefighters.