ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10)
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) today received the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine for administration in Georgia. Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Coastal Georgia at two public health locations with ultracold freezers required for storage and temperature control of the vaccine. Additional shipments of vaccine are expected later this week at facilities in other parts of the state, including metro Atlanta.
Today’s shipments contain 5,850 doses of vaccine for individuals to receive their first dose of the two dose series. The Coastal Health District is fine-tuning the logistics of thawing, preparing and administering the vaccine, and will begin vaccinating front line public health staff this afternoon. A broader vaccination program for high priority individuals in Chatham, Glynn, and surrounding counties will begin tomorrow. The district will also make vaccine available to local hospitals as those facilities await their own deliveries.
Because initial COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited, DPH is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and prioritizing healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities for vaccination. Vaccine will be given through closed points of dispensing or PODs. These sites include public health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, etc., and are only accessible to individuals in defined priority groups.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization (EAU) later this week. Assuming the vaccine is authorized for use by FDA, shipments of the Moderna vaccine should begin arriving in Georgia next week.
Video of today’s arrival of vaccine and a brief interview with Lawton Davis, M.D., Coastal Health District health director, is available to all media outlets for use at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ru650s2wlbwhtjr/AAA5wHLL0Tanf2QUJoo_m59Na?dl=0. Additional information about distribution and first administration of vaccine will be coming soon.