Columbus Health Dept. planning for COVID-19 vaccine

Columbus Health Dept. planning for COVID-19 vaccine

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Health and city officials continue to monitor COVID-19 cases in the Chattahoochee Valley as the United State reaches 11 million positive cases overall.

Local health officials are also monitoring the latest COVID-19 vaccine updates.

With two pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, both reporting positive results in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, the Columbus Health Department is working on a plan on how they will distribute those vaccinations.

“There are some challenges that we have to overcome as keeping the vaccines at the right temperature. It is a very, very, very cold temperature that they need to stay at and they have to be used within a certain amount of time," said Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department.

Kirkland said the vaccine will likely be available at the health department, physician’s offices, and pharmacies. Kirkland reiterated that the cold storage needed will be a major factor in picking which specific locations will have it.

The vaccine will be available to certain groups first, according to Kirkland.

“I believe the first responders will be the first group and healthcare workers that will get the vaccine, and the vulnerable populations," she explained.

As far as the latest COVID-19 numbers in Columbus, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports 214 new positive cases in the past couple weeks in Muscogee County.

“We are seeing an increase of cases, but we’re not as bad as some places and we’re not as good some places. So, we really are kind of holding out own in the middle and we think we’ve got some activity that was from Halloween," said Kirkland.

Kirkland said she also expects to see an increase in COVID-19 cases after the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

As Columbus is seeing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, Kirkland shared one trend that’s good news. There hasn’t been a big increase in COVID-19 related deaths in Columbus. She also reported the same trend for hospitalization rates.

Copyright 2020 WTVM. All rights reserved.