- White House Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Center at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta
- Georgia State and Command House Officials Plan to Administer 42,000 Doses Per Week
- The vaccination center will operate seven days a week for an eight-week period
The White House announced the opening of a vaccination center for COVID-19 that will be operating at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium facilities in downtown Atlanta and for which there are plans to administer 42,000 doses per week, as reported AJC News.
The site, which is expected to be up and running in the next two weeks, was selected to help reach the most affected and high-risk communities, federal officials said.
It will operate seven days a week for an eight-week period and will receive direct vaccine assignment through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Those doses are in addition to the state’s regular vaccine allocation.
State and local officials applauded the announcement, which came when a new threat was detected in Georgia.
According to the report, last Friday the first case of the variant of the coronavirus which arose in South Africa. The case was found in Henry County.
The highly contagious variant of coronavirus originally discovered in the UK also continues to spread in the state, with the number of confirmed cases rising to 155 as of Friday, according to the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH).
Georgia is in a race to vaccinate as many people as possible before worrisome variants take hold or new variants emerge as the virus continues to spread.
Scientists are especially concerned about the South African variant because it can spread more easily, bypass a person’s immune system, and affect how vaccines work.
To help more people get vaccinated, the Biden administration last month began partnering with some states to establish community vaccination centers in places with large populations vulnerable to the disease.
In addition to announcing the Georgia site, federal officials said a vaccination site would be established at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Both sites are located in neighborhoods heavily affected by the pandemic and are well known in the community,” said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on COVID-19 response at the White House.
Governor Brian Kemp has spoken repeatedly that the demand for the vaccine is greater than the supply. Many Georgians have had trouble making appointments because metro Atlanta health departments have said they don’t have enough vaccinations.
In making the announcement, White House officials did not include details on how people will be able to schedule appointments or whether the eligibility criteria will differ from current state guidelines.
Representatives from FEMA, Fulton County, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, DPH and other supporting partners were scheduled to meet Friday to develop plans for the installation and operations of the site.
Federal officials will be primarily in charge of site operations. Vaccination efforts at the stadium have been organized by local officials.
Fulton County’s proximity to other counties, such as Clayton and DeKalb, with large numbers of residents that the federal government describes as socially vulnerable, made it an ideal location, White House officials said.
Filed Under: COVID Atlanta Vaccination Center
The per capita vaccination rate in Clayton and DeKalb is lower than in most counties, state data shows.
Another reason the stadium was chosen is its close access to public transportation. Federal officials noted that more than 10% of Fulton residents do not have a vehicle, which has created a challenge for many who want to get vaccinated but have no way to get to a vaccination site.
Georgia’s vaccination efforts have yielded mixed results. Cases and deaths among residents of long-term care residents plummeted in February, which experts attribute in large part to vaccination efforts. However, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Georgia has the lowest per capita vaccination rate of any state.
State data also shows that non-white Georgians have been vaccinated at disproportionately low rates, although race is unknown for more than 8% of vaccine recipients. State and local leaders have been criticized for not doing enough to reach underserved communities and communities of color.
Many Georgians still hesitate to get the vaccine, a problem state leaders have tried to address through meetings with community organizations, business leaders, educators and religious groups.
Filed Under: COVID Atlanta Vaccination Center
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