Sandersville mass vaccination site giving its last shot today

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 1:55 PM EDT
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SANDERSVILLE, Ga. - It’s been open since March 17, but will soon be gone. Georgia’s state-operated COVID-19 vaccination site at Word of Life Church will give its last shot this afternoon.

In recent weeks, it and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s other mass vaccination sites have shifted their focus to the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine with no appointment needed.

But the clinics’ contract with the state runs out today, so they will shut down.

As of Thursday, the Sandersville site had administered 4,253 vaccines, and the overall total for all eight state-run sites was 355,557.

As demand for vaccinations has dropped, GEMA is focusing on its next concern.

“You know a lot of people don’t realize how small an agency GEMA is. We are 150 people, so this has been a tremendous mission. I mean it’s been all hands on deck for these eight sites and now with hurricane season coming up, you know, we have to shift our focus to that because we’ve already got you know a tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic now,” GEMA External Affairs Supervisor Lisa Rodriguez-Presley said.

With fewer cars rolling through and fewer shots being given, GEMA is preparing to pack up and move on to its next assignment. But before they go, some are taking advantage of the quick and easy access at mass sites.

“It’s almost like a peace of mind, you know, the burden is off your shoulder you know. It was smooth coming out here, you can pull right in and I’m going to be out in about 5-10 minutes you know so it couldn’t have been much smoother than that,” said Craig Ellison, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week at the mass vaccination site at Gulffstream Aerospace in Savannah.

Two weeks from now, Ellison will be fully vaccinated after one dose. That is why he wanted to go to the mass site.

“I’m starting a new job Monday and I am going to be more exposed to the public and it was already on my list to get it done, however I figure a one shot, I mean why not and for the safety of my family,” Ellison said.

While the sites are closing, officials say it doesn’t change how critical vaccinations are, especially if want to beat COVID.

“We’re feeling better every day, more and more people are getting vaccinated and it’s so important that they understand that even though these sites are closing they still need to go get vaccinated. There’s so much availability you can go to your local pharmacy, you can go to a health department, but getting vaccinated is going to be the key to eradicating the virus,” Rodriguez-Presley said.

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