COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus is about to get a major shot in the arm when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that a mass COVID-19 vaccination site will be opening in Columbus in two weeks.

It was welcome news to Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson.

“To be able to provide an opportunity for people in this part of the state to get that vaccination and to do it with an ample number of doses, we are just very grateful,” Henderson told News 3. “We appreciate him and know it’s a difficult task.” 

The clinic will be appointment only, opening on March 17. To register, go to this website.

It will operate five days a week with the ability to give about 1,100 shots per day, according to the source.

DPH, has given 2.1 million shots in Georgia. Nearly 25,000 of those shots have been in Muscogee County. There are currently four state-operated, FEMA-supported mass sites in Georgia.

Kemp says this puts Georgia in a position to quickly distribute large quanities of the vaccine when it becomes available.

“When that day comes and don’t increase from 198,000 to 223,000 but when we go from 223,000 to 500,000 or whatever the number is going to be,” Kemp said at the news conference. “We are already going to be ready from the state perspective to ramp up.” 

The current sites are located at the following places:

  • Delta Air Museum, 1220 Woolman Place SW, Hapeville, 30354.
  • Albany Georgia Forestry Site, 2910 Newton Road, Albany, 31701.
  • Habersham County Fairgrounds, 4235 Toccoa Highway Clarkesville, 30523.
  • Macon Farmers Market, 2055 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon, 31206.

The new sites are Columbus, Savannah, Cartersville, Sandersville and Waycross.

This news comes a little over a week after Henderson expressed concerns that Columbus was lagging behind counties of comparable size. Last Friday, the city, in partnership with DPH, held the largest mass-vaccine event in the city yet. There were 1,580 shots given. That same drive-through process that uses the entire South Commons parking lot will be in place for the DPH/FEMA clinic.

The shots will be open to those in the currently eligibility phase, healthcare workers, first responders, 65 and over, educators, parents of children with complex health conditions, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

It is a way for things to return to normal, Henderson said.

“It allows those, particularly those who have been in the Tier 1-A, those who are 65 years or older, or those who have some kind of medical issue,” he said. “It’s sort of their ticket to get out of the house. Once they get the vaccine and they get the second dose – and when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine becomes available just one dose – I think this gives them the confidence to get back out and get on with their lives.”