Slow traffic in Columbus vaccine clinic’s final weeks

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The state mass vaccination clinic at the Columbus Civic Center is in its final three weeks of operations.

And things have slowed down considerably.

The Georgia Emergency Management Clinic started operating in mid-March and the final day with May 21 – less than three weeks.

These days there are not many takers for the COVID shot.

It has been a two-dose Pfizer clinic until Monday when J&J was introduced. For the next two and a half weeks, the one-dose J&J will be administered along with the second dose of Pfizer.

“No wait right now,” said Jason Ritter, the GEMA area coordinator. “Really no wait yesterday or today. Or anticipated the rest of the week. It’s a really quick turnaround and you can be in and out in 25 or 30 minutes.”

The clinic operates Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Monday, the clinic gave 72 J&J shots. That was more than any of the eight statewide GEMA clinics. Including Atlanta.

When you are pumping hundreds of shots into arms, you got to eat, right. The workers at the state-operated, federally funded clinic have been eating well.

While he has been feeding a hundred or more people two meals a day for weeks, Jamie Keating is also feeding his soul.

He was awarded the contract to feed the workers at the GEMA clinic in the Columbus Civic Center parking lot.

Keating owns EPIC, a high-end downtown Columbus restaurant.

But he has been feeding nurses, soldiers and clinic workers for more than seven weeks.

“They have become more than my friends,” Keating said. “I look at everybody as family. I can tell you who eats what. What they don’t like. What they care for. What their allergies are, dietary restrictions before they even come to the line.”

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