Weeks away from enough COVID-19 vaccine for a mass inoculation event, the city of Columbus is making sure it’s ready when the juice flows.
No one on the state or national level can say when large quantities of the vaccine will be available in Muscogee County. But local officials are convinced they are ready.
City officials believe they can handle multiple mass vaccination events because of last week’s success story.
The city the Georgia Department of Public Health pushed out 380 shots in less than four hours. That efficiency has convinced those in charge they can do much more, Chance Corbett, deputy director of the city’s Emergency Management agency, tells News 3.
“Our goal is getting into the 6,000 a day range,” Corbett said. “Obviously, that is a very aggressive number. But when the vaccine is here, our plan is to get the shots in arms. We want to do it as quickly as we can, get it there while taking the safety precautions we need to.”
Corbett is approaching this with an emergency-planning mindset — and a can-do attitude.
“The plan we have put in place now we believe that with the number of personnel we have identified, we will be able to receive the citizens of Columbus, get them through the vaccination clinics, get them on their way and get them to a safer place in their life,” he said.
Part of that plan is to use city resources such as fire medics as vaccinators. Columbus Fire and EMS Lt. James Bloodworth was one of those who worked the event last week.
“We have vast resources of people who are already well trained on being doing this,” he said. “And are used to functioning in a large organized system. We train for all sorts of mass response events like this. It’s just one more application of it.”
Last week’s event has given Corbett confidence in the plan.
“Once the vaccine is available, through our Emergency Management process, our planning process, we are going to prepared for this. And we are ready to do it,” Corbett said.
All the city can do now is be ready when the vaccines do come. Corbett says all the planning must be done before the call comes.