Health Department’s “Vaccine Machine” takes booster shots, flu shots on the road in Columbus

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Saturday marks one year since the FDA gave emergency authorization for the first COVID vaccine. As Columbus sees case numbers on the rise, the Georgia Department of Department of Public Health has put their vaccination effort on wheels. 

Some counties in the West Central Health District have not had new cases, but Muscogee and Stewart counties have both seen an increase — Muscogee with 241 new cases in the past two weeks and Stewart County 58.

The Health District’s mobile unit, dubbed the “Vaccine Machine” is administering first and second doses of the vaccine, the booster, pediatric vaccines and flu shots. 

“We really have been doing better than expected. We gave about 50 the first day and then about six flu shots… and then the second day we did a little more. Today we did so many that we ended up running behind schedule because we wanted to get everyone vaccinated.”

Pamela Kirkland, West Central Health District

The mobile unit is working to reach neighborhoods where people may not have access to transportation. Friday saw an influx of people looking to get the booster. 

Though some were one-and-done with the booster, others were looking to kill two birds with one stone. The CDC is recommending annual flu vaccines for those 6 months and older. 

“Flu [shot] numbers haven’t been as high as the COVID vaccines. We’re hoping that as we continue to go into the month people are mindful of the Christmas holidays they’ll go ahead and get their flu shot because you do need two weeks before you’re immune from the flu.”

Pamela Kirkland, West Central Health District

People are able to receive their flu shot and COVID vaccine at the same time.

Vaccinations

The Columbus Health Department, 5601 Veterans Parkway, is giving all brands of vaccines Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for those 12 and older.  Pediatric vaccines (5-11 years) are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Appointments are preferred, but not required. 

Free Uber Rides

Free Uber rides to health departments are offered for any services, except Covid-19 testing.   Anyone needing a ride can contact our Call Center at 706-653-6613, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to schedule an Uber ride. 

Drive-thru Testing

Drive-thru Testing is held at the Columbus Health Department, 5601 Veterans Parkway, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

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