COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - There are new developments for the mass COVID-19 vaccination site at the Columbus Civic Center and new numbers.
Half of U.S. adults have now had at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nearly 23,000 doses have been administered at the GEMA mass vaccination site in Columbus. However, the expansion of hours announced last week hasn’t resulted in many more vaccinations. Now, this site will go back to its normal hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Several people who have been vaccinated said they are just glad to be able to get their vaccine so they can get back to living life again.
Charles Barnes said COVID-19 has taken away his ability to see some of his family.
“I haven’t seen my grandmother and that side of the family in over two years now. So, I would like to get back into the traveling mode and have the freedom to go out and do things that I used to in the past,” said Barnes.
He said this is one of the reasons why he chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine and he’s fully vaccinated now.
“We feel very good that we all got vaccinated and just doing our part to help go ahead and stop the spread and curve the infections,” said Barnes.
Life after vaccination is a motivation for many people in the Chattahoochee Valley, including San Perry, a current nurse at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) vaccination site.
“I was like, no, I’m just going to wait. But then when I got here, I started vaccinating all of these people, and I was like, ‘how can I be vaccinating all these people and not vaccinating myself.’ So, I was like okay, I’m just going go ahead and do it,” said Perry.
Beth Price said she got her vaccine for her mother, who is a breast cancer survivor. Now, that they’re both vaccinated, she said.
“It’s going to be great. Right now, we talk and do video stuff and she checks in on us every day because she’s worried about everybody,” said Price.
Although everyone has different stories of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their lives, people said the vaccine will bring them back with those they love.
“I want to be safe around my family. I want to be safe around others,” said Barnes.
“Being able to actually hug somebody, and even after you’ve been vaccinated you still have to follow the protocols. So, that’s probably a long time in coming,” said Price.
Jason Ritter with GEMA said their vaccination site will be in Columbus until May 21 and they’re hoping to vaccinate many more people in the community in that timespan.