Georgia’s vaccine rollout is not going according to plan.
At Tuesday’s Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting, Dr. Janet Memark, director of Cobb-Douglas Public Health, warned the county had already exhausted its initial supply of vaccines. Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, said at a news conference Tuesday, “There are simply more Georgians that want the vaccine than can get it today.”
At present, the state is receiving around 120,000 each week, but only 80,000 are available to the counties; the rest are being diverted to nursing home residents and staff.
The frustration with the state’s rollout of the vaccination program has risen to a low simmer among Cobb’s residents. Lance Lamberton, a 70-year-old with heart disease and asthma, emailed the commission inquiring as to how he could get vaccinated. In his email, which he signs “Scared as hell,” Lamberton explains his health condition and inability to reach anyone from Cobb Board of Commissioners Chair Lisa Cupid, his district commissioner, Monique Sheffield to Cobb-Douglas Public Health.
“I don’t want any special treatment. I just want to get vaccinated. Can you help?” he writes in an email shared with the MDJ.
Cupid wrote back explaining the numerous difficulties that the rollout has faced. Among those are staffing problems, limited numbers of doses being handed down from the state, and repeated overloading of the Cobb-Douglas Public Health website as thousands try to book appointments at once.
“Cobb-Douglas Public Health is in a tough situation which makes for an extremely challenging situation for citizens seeking vaccinations,” Cupid wrote.
“I recognize this entire situation is extremely frustrating for everyone. I desire no one to suffer any more than they already have as a result of this pandemic.”
Cupid did note that residents are not limited to being vaccinated in their county of residence.
Cobb-Douglas Public Health sent an email to residents Wednesday afternoon inviting first responders, health care workers, and residents over the age of 65 to register for a vaccination appointment. That email was sent around 4:30 p.m.; at 4:45, the Cobb scheduling website had crashed with a “Server Busy” message, illustrating the extent to which the website is overburdened.
As of Wednesday, the CDC reports that Georgia is now 49th in the nation in vaccine distribution.
Here’s a look at Cobb County and state coronavirus numbers reported Jan. 13, and how they compare to the day before. All information comes from the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Georgia’s COVID-19 Numbers for Wednesday
Cobb County’s COVID-19 Numbers for Wednesday
A Cobb-Douglas Public Health report, including data on how the coronavirus is affecting different ZIP codes, genders and ages, is available at reports.mysidewalk.com/17554e75c1#c-452027.
For the Georgia DPH’s full report, visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.
National data can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at cdc.gov.