FULTON COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Georgia opened its four state-run mass vaccination sites on Monday, February 22, as the state waits for more COVID-19 vaccine supply to meet the demand. It’s the first step in the state’s strategic plan to distribute the vaccines received from the federal government.

Drivers who lined up for vaccine shots in Fulton County had front row seats to planes taking off at the airport. Most were satisfied with their own arrival and departure times outside the Delta Flight Museum.

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“They’re on time with everything. You don’t have to wait a long time. Make sure you just have your information, and you go right on in,” said Mary Green, a DeKalb County resident. “Setting this up and having the registration system was fantastic,” said Gwinnett County resident Bruce Marinello.

The three other sites are in Macon, Albany and Habersham County. All four sites are located near minority communities, which have been largely hesitant to get vaccinated. “We’re up and running. We’re happy we’ve got shots going in arms at all four sites,” said Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Chris Stallings.

Governor Brian Kemp and officials are monitoring the sites from the State Operations Center at GEMA. “As supply expands over the coming months, we will be able to increase capacity at these four initial sites,” he said, adding if they don’t see a big vaccine demand at some sites, they’ll shift the doses to other locations. However, when they expand the eligibility criteria, that may not be necessary.

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Each site is working at 50% capacity for the first few weeks. Residents can return to the same location for their second doses. “We have allocation to do 1,100 shots per site per day.” Stallings said. “We’ll have our logistics teams if we have any vaccinations or concerns moving anything around the state. If it’s a problem at one site, it might pop up at the other sites as well, so our teams are out there identifying anything that we might encounter.”

“There have now been 1.75 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered here in Georgia. For the doses the State of Georgia controls, in terms of distribution and administration, we have put nine out of 10 shots available in the arm of a vulnerable Georgian,” said Kemp, indicating this represents 89% of Georgia’s supply of the vaccine.

Kemp said over 763,000 seniors have been vaccinated, and 85% of Georgia’s COVID-19 deaths have involved people ages 65 and older. “While vaccine demand continues to vastly outpace supply, we continue to focus on how we can prevent 85% of future deaths,” he said.

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They plan to expand the eligibility criteria in the coming days, but the ongoing challenge is the limited supply. Although most of these sites are booked for the week, the public is still urged to continue making appointments. Click here for details.