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Lowndes County seniors seek vaccination options during shortage

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 18:07:37-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Georgia Department of Public Health officials in Lowndes County have canceled as many as 600 vaccination appointments due to short supply.

Now, some seniors in the area are scrambling to get their shots as soon as they can.

After learning about long wait times and short supplies for the COVID-19 vaccine in Valdosta, seniors like Spencer and Donna Selph wasted no time getting in line for their shots at the South Georgia Medical Center.

"We waited until now because we didn't know for sure where to get it and when to get it," said Selph.

The Selphs signed up with South Georgia Medical Center on Thursday for the first of two shots they'll receive in the COVID-19 vaccination series.

That option is no longer available with the County Health Department as they work to cancel hundreds of appointments due to short supply.

"I'm not surprised," said Selph. "It was so late getting rolled out and people are coming and getting shots and that's a good thing."

SGMC officials say they're working hard to keep going with a healthy supply of doses of both Pfizer and Moderna readily available.

"At this point, I think we have about 4,000 if not a little bit more than that," said Erika Bennett, SGMC Director of Marketing.

Bennett said they're already vaccinating nearly 300 people per day at their main campus. She expects they'll receive record numbers in the coming days given the nearby shortage.

"It's extremely important and we take this responsibility very seriously," said Bennett. "We want to be able to vaccinate as many people as we can, both with the first dose and the second dose, so that we can start to create that community of immunity."

The Selphs said they hope to see that immunity sooner rather than later.

"Being senior citizens, we've lost a lot of friends to COVID," said Selph. "I'm glad that everybody's getting it, so we just need to press on with making the medication and so everybody needs to get it."

Valdosta area Publix supermarkets have received vaccines but they are fully booked at this time.

The Lowndes County Health Department recommends visiting Barnes Drugs Store or Chancey Drugs for vaccination appointments.