COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Governor Brian Kemp gave an update on the state's vaccination efforts and the challenge of the limited supply versus the huge demand on February 3, 2021.
State and local officials toured the COVID-19 drive-through vaccination site at Jim Miller Park in Cobb County. "We started the pandemic here, doing COVID testing, and we hope to end it here with COVID vaccines," said Dr. Janet Memark, the health director for Cobb and Douglas Counties.
Residents like Willia George couldn't wait to get the vaccine. "I'm so excited. I could hardly sleep last night," she said. "I'm so thankful to be able to get it."
Others will have to wait much longer. "Our demand is drastically outpacing the supply that we're seeing in our state," said Governor Brian Kemp.
Kemp said providers in Georgia have administered one million doses. He recapped President Joe Biden's plans to allocate one million doses to pharmacies, which will increase Georgia's supply to 154,000 doses per week, starting next week. However, the demand will still outweigh the supply.
"If two weeks from now they said, 'We're gonna get another 50,000 doses a week,' we've got facilities up like this," said Kemp, referring to the Cobb County drive-through. "If we had more supply right now, that lane that's empty could be full of cars."
State officials are still focusing on getting the older and most vulnerable citizens vaccinated first, until they can expand the criteria. Officials say 500,000 seniors have received the first of two shots. "Everyone else, I would urge you to continue to be patient," Kemp said, adding they also have to ensure the seniors get back for their second dose and that the state must continue making progress on getting the remaining 1.3 million seniors vaccinated.
He also discussed some positive state COVID-19 numbers:
- The seven-day moving average of new cases declined by 46% from its peak on Jan 11.
- Georgia is now below 4,000 cases daily
- The percent of positive cases declined from 18.1% last month to 13.7% as of February 3.
- Hospitalizations are more than 1,700 lower than the January 12 peak number
"These numbers are still high, too high for Georgians to let their guard down," Kemp said.
There's also some concern about new variants of the virus. "As we're seeing, there's many more: 23 at last count and likely to be additional ones identified," said Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey." She has previously said the vaccines should be effective against the new variants.
As the fight against the pandemic continues, state officials say it's all the more important to keep following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as Georgia waits for more vaccines.
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