With two of Fulton County’s three fixed COVID-19 vaccination sites closing this month, it is ramping up its strategy to send mobile units to the communities that need shots the most.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Georgia International Convention Center locations close June 7 and 26, respectively. After that, vaccinations will be available at the county’s third fixed site, North Point in Alpharetta, plus six board of health clinics and Fulton’s South Annex. The county is also sending out mobile units to different areas where there may be residents who still haven’t gotten vaccinated yet.
“We’re taking them down to smaller teams,” said Matt Kallmyer, director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency. “What our hope is, before we had teams that could vaccinate 400 (individuals) at a time. We’re not seeing that level of use (lately), so we’re ratcheting them down to teams that are closer to (administering) about 100 vaccines … per day per unit. They’re called micro-units and we’re strategically placing them in areas throughout our community.”’
Kallmyer provided an update on the county’s vaccination efforts at the Fulton Board of Commissioners’ June 4 mayors meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kallmyer said at Fulton’s fixed and mobile vaccination sites, 499,750 individuals have received at least one dose, with the mobile units having administered more than 32,000. He added he expected the county would reach the 500,000-dose mark on the day of the meeting.
Also, before the stadium site closes, Kallmyer said he hopes it eclipses the 300,000-dose mark, adding it had already administered 298,338 shots. That location, which opened in January and since March 26 has been a joint Fulton/Federal Emergency Management Agency site, holds the national record for most vaccines given in one day at just under 13,000.
Jessica Corbitt, a Fulton spokeswoman, said the county is working to both vaccinate more residents and achieve vaccine equity by continuing to partner with others to send mobile units to various sites. Those locations include long-term care facilities (through a partnership with Tuxedo Pharmacy – 7,980), senior centers (4,686), houses of worship (5,300) and Latinx sites (21,600).
The county also has street teams that have gone to the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium to book 3,836 vaccine appointments for that site.
In addition to closing the race ethnicity gap on vaccines, Fulton also plans to take shots to “different communities within Fulton County where vaccination pace is lower and many of those are communities where there are historic barriers to access to vaccines,” Corbitt said.
The plan is to have more mobile units at sites such as libraries and other communities where residents may not have as much access to the vaccine or to transportation, what Corbitt called “vaccine deserts.”