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When and where to get COVID-19 vaccines in Dawson County
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This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. On Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, Pfizer said an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)

As of Jan. 11, 2021, 1,700 COVID-19 vaccines have been allocated to five medical offices and pharmacies in Dawson County, including the Dawson County Health Department, the Good Shepherd Clinic,  Chestatee Emergent Medical Care, and pharmacies at Publix and Kroger. 

The Dawson County News spoke with officials at several of the healthcare facilities receiving vaccines and was told that even though vaccines are now in Dawson County, many organizations do not have a large enough supply to meet demand, and are struggling to handle the volume of calls regarding vaccines. 

More vaccines are likely coming in the following weeks, officials say, but in the meantime, they urge local residents to have patience with medical staff in the county. 

Where to get vaccines

Demand for vaccines has been high and appointments often fill up quickly. Registration may be available at the following sites, depending on the availability of the vaccine. Health officials recommend residents continue checking frequently:

This story will be updated.

Who can get the vaccines

The area is in Phase1A+ of the vaccine rollout plan, as of Jan. 14. Vaccines became available to adults 65 and older and emergency personnel as of Jan. 11. Vaccinations for health care workers began in December.

The vaccine phases include the following, according to the Department of Public Health.

  • Phase 1A+: Health care workers; long-term care facility workers and residents; adults 65 and older and their caregivers; law enforcement, fire personnel, dispatchers and 911 operators

  • Phase 1B: Essential workers, which has not yet been clearly defined by the state

  • Phase 1C: People 16-64 with medical conditions that increase their risk

How the vaccine works

The COVID-19 vaccine uses mRNA technology that essentially provides the body instructions to build a spike protein of the coronavirus, which then triggers the body’s immune response, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which has more information at its website

COVID-19 in Dawson County

Cases in Dawson County have remained high in January, hitting records and straining emergency medical workers. Get the daily updated data.

The Gainesville Times contributed to this report.