COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As COVID-19 numbers are trending downward in Muscogee County, there is still the question left about vaccine availability.
It’s been one year since the nation experienced the coronavirus pandemic. While some parts of the country are still seeing an uptick in cases, Columbus COVID-19 cases are plateauing.
“We are so much better now than we were right in January after the cases spiked from the holiday season,” Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson said.
Henderson credits the decrease in cases to more and more people receiving the vaccine.
Pamela Kirkland with the Columbus Health Department says plans are in the works to help expand vaccine availability by potentially receiving shipments of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“The fact that it is only one dose certainly changes the way we would administer vaccines,” she said. “It would reduce a lot of the work involved in administering two doses to everyone and having to keep track of that.”
The West Central Health District is currently only using Moderna’s vaccine, but now the district is prepared to receive allotments of Pfizer and Bio-N-Tech’s version as well, which requires specific cold-storage that some departments do not have access to.
“I think what that would do more than anything is logistically get the vaccine to people,” Henderson said.
According to Kirkland, there are still roughly 19,000 people who are registered in the Phase 1A group who have still not received a dose.
Muscogee County has received a rough estimate of 33,000 vaccines in total and about 25,000 have been administered.
“The more availability with the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which I think is already being shipped out, will help us get through the people remaining on our list and get ready for the next group of people,” Kirkland said.
With Phase 1A being expanded for a second time by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, school teachers and staff, an adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers can receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting March 8.