GEMA Civic Center mass vaccination site has not seen consistent numbers in the first three weeks of operation


The Georgia Emergency Management Agency mass vaccination site is in its 14th day of operation.

And there have been days that have been wall-to-wall shots and others that have been lacking in the numbers of needles going into arms.

“We have got the infrastructure here,” said Jason Ritter, the GEMA Area 4 field coordinator. “We have a well-qualified staff here to make this operation successful and more efficient. We are just needing to the people to continue to come if they want to receive that Pfizer vaccine to come here to the Civic Center and we can take care of them and get them in and out of here. Currently, today, in less than 30 minutes.” 

The first two full days after Gov. Brian Kemp opened up the site at the Civic Center to those without appointments, were the busiest two days. On March 25, 1,938 people were vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. The next day, 2,004 people went through the site.

But there have been four days where less than 600 shots were given. The lowest total was April 1, when 504 people went through the line.

More than 12,000 people have been vaccinated at that site.

But it has been giving less than the 1,080 daily allotments and has gone from appointment-only to no appointment necessary.

The GEMA people won’t say they are disappointed in the numbers of people getting vaccinated here, but they are prepared to handle more people.

But that could change later this week when the state-operated, federally backed site begins giving second doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

The second does is given 21 days after the first one. So, those doses will begin going in arms on Wednesday.

“Once our second doses startup from our original allotment, once those second doses start up Wednesday, our numbers will increase for those second doses will increase to about a thousand on a couple of those days,” Ritter said. “The best time to come would be early this week toward the end of the week.”

The site is no-appointment necessary and operates Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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