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With kids now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, local clinics filling up

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Tonight we’re checking in on our area’s vaccine rollout. We know demand has slowed down across the board. But now that younger kids are eligible to get the shot we wanted to know if our local clinics are filling up again.

AU Health has a three-hour clinic scheduled for tomorrow. More than 60 percent of the patients are between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. A good start for an age group that many see as the key to reaching herd immunity.

AU Health is getting ready for a new group of patients. And the appointments are going fast.

“The low amongst the first-dose clinics was 37 percent of individuals who registered were in between the ages of 12 and 16,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche, AU Health.

Dr. Wyche says his team is planning for about 500 or so teens between the ages of 12 and 16 at their vaccination sites this week. To reach them they are changing part of their approach.

“Weekends and evenings are ultimately going to be key in getting these individuals access to the vaccine,” he said.

Although the numbers may be higher than expected AU doesn’t expect it to last for long. But instead, they are expecting spikes in appointments for things like summer camp and back to school.

“I think you are going to see a lot of trends in what parents did will be what the adolescent may do,” he said.

The Richmond County Health Department has seen 107 12 to 15-year-old’s come through their clinic since the decision to open eligibility last week.

For some parents the decision is very simple. I got the vaccine, so my child will get the vaccine. Others are deciding to wait on more data.

But AU Health says at their clinics they will be prepared with pediatric medical staff on-site to answer any questions.

”Most of the parents coming through have done their research. They have ultimately decided that it’s the right thing for their child,” he said.

This Saturday AU is partnering with Golden Harvest to bring a vaccine clinic to one of their mobile markets in Thomson. Anyone waiting in line for food assistance will have a chance to get vaccinated. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Thomson-McDuffie Middle School at 1191 White Oak Road.

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