COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – According to the Georgia Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 37% of Georgians have been completely vaccinated. In May, the mass vaccination clinic in the Civic Center Parking lot closed in Columbus.
Public Information Officer for the West Central Health District’s Department of Health Pamela Kirkland said even though we’re seeing an increase in vaccine availability, they’ve seen a drop off in how many people are wanting to get vaccinated.
However once Pfizer began offering the vaccine to children ages 12-15, DPH began holding teen vaccine clinics. Kirkland says despite the young age group having a lower percentage across the board for COVID-19 vaccinations, DPH has experienced good turnouts at their teen drives.
“From 15 to 19 the percentage is 18.8% so that’s pretty good and then it’s about the same for the next group up to age 34, but once we get to 35 and on up that’s when we see the numbers go up and the percentages are much higher,” said Kirkland.
Kirkland explained there is a plethora of reasons for why this percentage could be lower, but they all come back to whether parents want their children to receive the vaccine or not.
“It just depends on how parents feel about giving their child you know several at one time. If they need to get it this year the meningitis vaccine is required for any of the students in the 11th grade,” said Kirkland. “So they must have that vaccine, where as the COVID vaccine is not required for schools but the meningitis vaccine is so students are definitely going to have to get that vaccine.”
Kirkland said another reason could be the child has already contracted COVID-19 and the parents feel comfortable relying on the antibodies to protect them.