The juice is finally flowing in big numbers in Columbus.
About 2,500 local residents will get the COVID-19 vaccine shot before Wednesday is done.
One of those was 62-year-old Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, who could have gotten the shot earlier as the Public Safety director, but waited until his number came up in the state priority list.
“Our primary objective from the minute this COVID pandemic began, and we really identified what it was, was to find a way to make sure that our people are as safe as possible,” Henderson told News 3. “This day to me embodies that effort. We now have the opportunity to get the vaccine to almost anybody who wants it.”
The shots were being given at three different sites scatter across the city.
The largest was at the Columbus Civic Center. It is one of nine mass-vaccine sites open now across Georgia. That site is operated by the state Emergency Management Agency and backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
There are 1,100 shots available Wednesday, the first day the site was open. It will run Monday-Friday and is currently appointment only. To sign up, click here.
The mayor and several other government officials got their shots at the Shirley Winston Rec Center. There were 1,000 shots given out at that site operated by the Georgia Department of Public Health on the eastside.
West Central Georgia Health District Director Dr. Beverly Townsend said this day has been a long time coming, but it will go a long way to getting more shots in arms. Before Wedneday, DPH reported that Muscogee County had given about 34,000 of the state’s 2.7 million shots.
“This has been a great opportunity for lots of vaccines to be given in Columbus,” Townsend told News 3. “… There’s more vaccine that has been made available to us. That’s the flow. We had no control over that. We are just excited that it’s starting to flow from the federal level down to the states.”
City Manager Isaiah Hugley, and his wife, state Rep. Carolyn Hugley also got the shot.
The city manager says it’s important that everyone gets this shot.
“First of all, I believe it’s safe to get the shot,” Hugley said. “That’s why I am here getting it. If I didn’t believe it was safe, I would not be here getting it. I have seen too many people, not just in our community, but across the state and nation lose loved ones.”
There was also third clinic running Wednesday in Columbus. About 500 shots were being given at the DPH/city clinic on the Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown campus.