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Vaccine shortage causes vaccination cancellations in Lowndes County

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 19:56:59-05

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — While the state of Georgia works to increase its vaccinations to stop the spread, there's just not enough to go around in Lowndes County.

The shortage means that even if you have an appointment to get the vaccine it could be canceled.

In fact, today the department of health started canceling appointments for people looking to get their first doses of the Moderna vaccine.

That includes appointments at the main office and at the civic center drive-through vaccination site that just opened this week.

Those who have already gotten their first doses are not expected to be impacted by this shortage.

”Once you receive both doses then it’s about 94 to 95 percent effective at keeping you from getting COVID," said Courtney Sheeley, South Health District's Communication Director. "So it’s very important that people finish their series and that’s why we have put them at the top of our priority group.”

The department of health says the Moderna vaccine series is only about 50 percent effective after just one dose. Sheeley said they currently have around 2,000 doses left for those who need that second shot.

"For us, that is very limited supply. We are normally throughout our ten counties vaccinating about 600 people a day, so of course, that proves to us that we have got to just focus now on the second doses. And then, once we have more vaccine on hand, we’re gonna start back with those first doses and start making appointments for people that need it,“ said Sheeley.

The health department is trying to determine exactly how many appointments will need to be canceled. The hope is to have the process finished by Monday. Canceled appointments will become first priority once the new vaccine supply arrives.