COVID vaccines available in state’s Phase IA rollout

Candler County is experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 51 positive tests in the last two weeks. Now, more than ever, the community is asking about the COVID vaccine.

The vaccine is now available locally at Candler County Hospital, Candler Medical Group, Candler County Health Department and at local pharmacies.


Candler County Health Department

Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., announced plans on December 30 to add adults aged 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders to the current group of individuals eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1A.

With much of the healthcare community having received their COVID-19 vaccine, the Southeast Health District will now begin scheduling vaccine appointments for those in the expanded definition of Phase 1A. 

Effective this week, Phase 1A is defined as healthcare workers in clinical settings, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, all law enforcement and fire personnel and adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable). 

If you are eligible to receive your COVID-19 vaccination within this expanded group, please call 1-855-473-4374 to schedule an appointment. The Health Department will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only at four mass vaccination clinics located at the health departments in the following counties: Appling, Bulloch, Coffee and Ware.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). States have the flexibility to tailor these recommendations based on their specific needs and available vaccine.

The majority of the healthcare community and providers have also been vaccinated across the health department’s 16-county health district, and this effort is continuing as those in this expanded definition will have the opportunity to be vaccinated as well.


Candler County Hospital & Candler Medical Group

Candler County Hospital is providing vaccinations to employees and 1A healthcare workers (first responders EMS etc.). 

Candler Medical Group is participating in vaccine distribution according to DPH guidelines.  Established patients should contact CMG to be placed on a waiting list as vaccines become available. 


Local pharmacies

Pharmacist Krista Stone of IHS Pharmacy & Gifts, said, “Due to an overwhelming demand for the vaccine that far exceeds our current supply, we are no longer adding names to our wait list.  

“We have received our allotted first doses of the Moderna vaccine and those doses have been allocated.”

As of Monday, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has updated the Phase 1A+ plan. The criteria is as follows:

• Healthcare workers in clinical settings (e.g., nurses, physicians, EMS, laboratory technicians, environmental services)

• Staff and residents of long-term care facilities

• All law enforcement and fire personnel (including volunteer departments)

• Adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable)

“We are working to help immunize all those that are eligible in our community. Over the next few weeks as more vaccine becomes available, we anticipate reopening our wait list,” she said.

Another option to receive a COVID immunization is by scheduling through Southeast Health District.  

To verify eligibility and schedule an appointment, call 1-855-473-4374.

Each pharmacy will have its own protocol for establishing a wait list, so individuals should call their respective pharmacy for direction.

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