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2-state COVID-19 roundup: More are getting shots, and now it will be easier

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 9:18 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - One of Georgia’s biggest vaccine clinics is now making it easier get a shot.

As of Sunday, the Georgia Department of Public Health is now allowing walk-up vaccination appointments at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

With that the news, the line to get a shot stretched down the road Sunday.

Officials are also extending hours at the stadium to get a shot.

Vaccine rollout making progress

We’ve reached a major milestone in the nation’s fight against coronavirus: Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say almost 130 million adults have received at least one vaccine shot.

That’s about half of the country’s adult population.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden told all 50 states to make every adult eligible for the vaccine by today.

The only state left to expand the rollout is Hawaii, which will do so today.

Overcoming hesitancy in the CSRA

While vaccinations go up, health officials still come across the challenge of convincing those who are hesitant to get it.

Here at home, health care providers have been working with several organizations to reach hesitant communities.

They’re going to those communities and doing things like educating them and even helping some of them get signed up to eliminate doubt.

So far, health officials say its been a slow pace, but they are seeing more and more people prepared to receive their first dose including minority communities.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Richmond County is one of the Georgia counties succeeding in vaccinating minorities.

Black people make up 55 percent of Richmond County’s population and have so far received the highest percentage of vaccine doses at nearly 45 percent, while about 41 percent are white.

The group 100 Black Men of Augusta has brought free testing to more than 250 people, and organizers say they’re continuing to work and break those barriers.

“The more people will uptake the vaccine, the more people see someone within their family or someone that looks like them that’s had it in there OK, you’re going to see more people say OK, I’m fine with it’ and I think with time, we’re gonna see that,” said Dr. Justin Moore, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Augusta University.

Walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics planned this week

The Richmond County Health Department has announced some new walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week.

Using the Moderna vaccine, they’ll take place from 9-11 a.m. April 20 at Historic First Ebenezer Baptist Church 2040 Ebenezer Drive in Hephzibah, and from 9:45-11:30 a.m. April 21 at the Department of Family and Children’s Services 3310 Old Louisville Road in Augusta.

Verdict due on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The CDC could make a decision this week on the future of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine after rare blood clot cases put it on hold last week.

Top health official Dr. Anthony Fauci says advisers will meet Friday about continuing its rollout.

He says he believes the u-s can resume using the vaccine, possibly with restrictions or warnings.

Officials did not make a decision last week because they said they need to review more data.

Also in the news ...

  • Otters at the Georgia Aquarium are in quarantine after they tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend. The staff says the Asian small-clawed otters were showing mild COVID-19 symptoms like sneezing, coughing and lack of energy. After testing positive, veterinarians think the animals have gotten infected from an asymptomatic staff member.
  • University Hospital in Augusta has 11 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of today. In the past 24 hours, it discharged five patients and admitted two. A month ago on March 19, the hospital has 15 CPVID inpatients, while it had 60 a month earlier on Feb. 19 and 147 on Jan. 19.

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