By Valencia Jones

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — The DeKalb County Board of Health announced plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine to the next group of eligible people on Monday, January 11, 2020.  Those 65 and older, their caretakers, law enforcement officers and first responders will now eligible.

Healthcare workers were among the first to get the vaccine. Dozens lined up in DeKalb County today to get the vaccine at a drive-through in the BrandsMart USA parking lot.

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“I wasn’t sure what to do, with all those conspiracy theories you hear, but then also, being a healthcare worker, I feel like, to come up with a cure, you have to have people get the shot for that to happen,” said Alicia Young, a post doctoral healthcare worker.

“It’s way better for the most people possible to get the vaccine in a given population to cut down on the spread of the virus population,” said Allen McDonald, a retired physician.

DeKalb County District Health Director Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford discussed this next step of the state’s Phase 1a of the vaccine distribution. “The Board of Health receives allocations every day, so our hope is that by Monday, we should have more than 10,000 doses,” Ford said.o

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Board of Health staff, medical volunteers and local doctors will administer the vaccine. “Having the opportunity to provide something that will help to curtail this pandemic is amazing for us.”

This comes one week after Governor Brian Kemp and state health officials announced they would add more Georgians to the list of those who qualify. DeKalb County will open two locations with the capacity for 500 appointments each.

Clinical trials show both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are well over 90% effective. “Extensive review was done on these vaccines,” Ford said. “African Americans, Latinos, and Asians were all included, as well as people who were obese, hypertensive and diabetic.” Doctors have continued addressing concerns, including those from the African American community. “We’re dying faster, we get sick faster, and we’re hospitalized more, so yes, they are trying to target this vaccine to the African American community,” said Ford. “Other than a sore arm and a little fatigue, I haven’t heard any negative reports yet, which is very encouraging.”

Health experts still recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of washing your hands, wearing masks and social distancing, and they recommend getting flu shots.

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The county plans to release more information on vaccine distribution in DeKalb County tomorrow. For updates and to register or make appointments, click here.