covid vaccine

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County’s COVID-19 vaccination events have been put on hold until the county can secure more doses.

Emergency Management Director Chris Grimes said the events, which began last week, will not come back online until the county can promise it has doses to distribute.

He presented the disappointing update to the Board of Commissioners at its Jan. 26 work session.

Grimes told the board last month the county would put a hold on the events if it could not guarantee it had a full allotment of doses, and just two weeks into the program, Forsyth has encountered that roadblock. As more cities and counties, pharmacies and senior care facilities have received doses, the supply chain has become “thinner,” he said, adding state and federal agencies dictate vaccine allotments.

Once Forsyth obtains enough doses, the events could come online again quickly. Grimes suggested with the infrastructure in place, that could be in as little as a few hours.

The county was able to hold the first events over two weeks beginning Jan. 19. Over 1,400 people received doses during the first two events the week of Jan. 19.

Doses were distributed to those eligible at two locations, First Redeemer Church and Browns Bridge Church, with 600 doses available at each site during the four event dates.

Those who received their first dose through a county event will still receive their second dose. 

The county does not have figures for the total number of residents who have received doses, only those who receive one at its events.

Those 65-years or older, caretakers, additional healthcare workers and others are currently eligible to receive the vaccine under federal guidelines.

Grimes said the county has about 34,000 seniors and caretakers who are eligible.

Forsyth’s vaccination efforts are at least in part to supplement local and regional health agencies. Though its own vaccination events are paused, Grimes said Forsyth County will continue to aid its Health Department through assistance in scheduling, facilitating volunteers, scheduling personnel for vaccine distribution and any transportation needs.

Officials used the Jan. 26 work session to also provide some financial aid to the department. Commissioners approved a contract to provide and install an emergency power generator at its facility on Ga. 20. The system has an automatic switchover in the event of a power outage that will ensure vaccines of all varieties stored at the facility will be kept at the proper temperature.

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