Columbus vaccinations approach 8,000 as city, state look for additional COVID-19 shots

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in Columbus and throughout Georgia. 

And while there is no place to get the exact number of vaccines given in Muscogee County, WRBL News 3 reporting indicates that the number is approaching 8,000

The largest bucket has come from a city of Columbus-backed site on the Piedmont Columbus Regional campus. That site has administered more than 4,000 vaccines, according to Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.

That number includes vaccines given by Piedmont Columbus Regional and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare to staff and patients. Piedmont Columbus Regional is operating two shot sites on its Midtown campus. One for patients and employees and the other affiliated with the city and the Department of Public Health.

The Columbus shot total also includes 800 shots given by the Publix Pharmacy and nearly 1,000 given by the Georgia Department of Public Health in Muscogee County.

All of those vaccination sites are appointment-only for the time being because of limited supplies coming from the state, which is getting the vaccine from the federal government.

Gov. Brian Kemp praises the efforts like the one going on in Columbus.

“The vaccine doesn’t save lives,” Kemp said. “Getting the vaccine does. The whole area down there in conjunction with private area partners like Piedmont is making that happen.” 

Kemp knows there could be more shots if there were more vaccine.

“What we need is more supply,” the governor told News 3. “And that’s what we are waiting on as we continue to move the needle with what we got.” 

The city site has given four times the number vaccines as the Department of Public Health in Muscogee County. 

When that supply comes, the city is ready, Henderson said. 

“I will tell you that we have already got a plan already established and we are refining it for when we begin to get a large amount of the vaccine available,” according to the mayor.

The plan will allow the city to expand rapidly and give at least twice as many shots. 

“We have some very large parking lots at our Civic Centers, our rec centers that we can utilize,” Henderson said. “So, that when the vaccine becomes available, we should be able to stand up anywhere between five and 10 lanes of traffic for people coming in .” 

The governor calls this a huge logistical lift. 

“What we need is more doses,” Kemp said. “When that’s coming and how many that will be, I just do not know. Hopefully, that is something the Biden Administration will be communicating to us sooner rather than later after tomorrow.” 

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