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AU Health opens doors for Georgians age 16+ to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Shots are going in arms across Georgia. Starting Thursday, every Georgian 16 and older could sign up to get vaccinated.

While it’s great news, we know securing an appointment is tough as it is.

So what makes us ready to expand now? And what’s the plan to manage this huge influx of people?

One local clinic answers some of our questions.

Two-hundred to 300 people came through every hour at AU Health on Thursday to get their vaccination. People were practically running inside filled with younger faces eager for their turn.

“I’m glad it’s opening up. I think a lot of young people are ready to get it, and ready to move on,” said Mallory Daniel, a student at Emory law school that was vaccinated today. “After a year of online classes I’m really looking forward to going back to campus,” said Daniel.

This is the next step in getting back to normal.

“I’d been trying for so long, and kept getting told I wasn’t eligible yet. But, when it came eligible today, I felt great. I feel relieved,” said Travis Redd, a man that was vaccinated today.

Relief and excitement, the words of the day.

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But for AU Health, there’s a lot of work ahead.

“Our strategy is not going to change. We know demand is going to increase, but at the same time, we are not just chasing a number,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche, a doctor at AU Health.

Wyche says that AU Health will likely offer more appointments at each clinic to keep up with high demand, but to not expect clinics every day.

For a couple weeks demand slowed down, even at AU Health, which is why the floodgates are now open wide.

“If anyone had the hesitancy that they were jumping the line, that’s over,” said Wyche.

AU says that they plan to do more rural clinics soon because once demand calms down they will have to bring the vaccine to people to get closer to herd immunity.

“There’s going to become a point very soon where vaccines are going to have to chase people,” said Wyche.

If you’re on the South Carolina side and wondering when eligibility will expand again DHEC says they’re still aiming for April.

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