February 3, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Insights

It seems like there are new developments about COVID-19 every day, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest information. But one of the most important recent developments has to do with the COVID-19 vaccine that is now being offered across Georgia. If you’re not sure if your team members or business qualifies to receive the vaccine, read on for some important information.

Who Is Eligible?

The dissemination of the vaccine is left up to each state to determine. In Georgia, the vaccine is being rolled out in three phases, designated as 1A+, 1B, and 1C. Currently the state is still in phase 1A+, which includes those working in healthcare (all medical personnel, EMS services, lab technicians, and others); those working and living in long-term care facilities; adults 65 years of age and older, along with their caregivers; and law enforcement, fire personnel, emergency dispatchers, and others in this field.

There is no specific timeline on when each phase will be completed, as the vaccine is still in limited supply. However, be sure to keep up with information posted by the Georgia Department of Health, which will provide regular updates on the vaccine status as well as offers additional information on the research and science that went into creating the vaccine.

Where Do I Receive the Vaccine?

More and more places are offering the vaccine – like Publix and Kroger. Your local doctor’s office may also have the vaccine available; if they don’t, they can certainly give you direction on where to go to receive it. Other local pharmacies and health departments are also offering the vaccine, and the Georgia Department of Health has a comprehensive list of locations here.

One important note is that, unlike much of the COVID-19 testing itself, vaccines are currently only available by appointment. It may take some time to schedule your vaccine, so be sure to consider all of your options.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

A few other facts are important to consider before you receive the vaccine:

  • It is administered in two doses, given three to four weeks apart.
  • Side effects have been reported, with most people saying it feels like they have the flu after receiving the vaccine. The CDC says this is to be expected, and most people only experience the effects for a few days. However, if you have concerns, you should always contact your doctor or another medical professional.
  • There is no cost for individuals to receive the vaccine, though there may be an administrative cost associated with individual vaccine locations.
  • The vaccine is just one step of the process involved in diminishing the effects of COVID-19. The CDC and the Georgia Department of Health continue to urge people to wear masks in public areas and maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and others (aside from other members of the same household) in order to decrease the reach and spread of the virus.

While the vaccine is an encouragement to many people, it’s also important to remember that your business still needs to prepare to adapt to the new normal that COVID-19 has brought to every community. Be sure to stay on top of the latest updates, and help your team members understand when they can get vaccinated and how the process works. Together, you and the business community you’re part of can help Forsyth County move forward through this unprecedented experience.

To learn more from the experts, make plans to attend the Healthcare Association of Forsyth County’s Virtual Vaccine Info Session on Thursday, February 11th at 11 AM. Hear from:

  • Dr. Zachary Taylor, District 2 Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Doug Olson, Northside Hospital Forsyth’s Emergency Department Medical Director
  • Dr. Daniel Callahan, Northside Hospital Forsyth’s Respiratory Therapy Director

Submit questions to be answered by a panel discussion of these physicians, led by Northside Hospital Forsyth’s Chief Operating Officer, Lynn Jackson. There is no cost to join this virtual event and you can register to participate HERE.

February 3, 2021 Laura Stewart