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New funding from the CDC to expand local COVID-19 vaccination sites



AUGUSTA, Ga. – At the Department of Public Health vaccination site, lines have been off and on all day long. Health officials say the new funding from the CDC will help expand sites like these to people that need it most.

As people line up and wait their turn for the vaccine, the question is what the next phase looks like. Health officials say it doesn’t include adding more people.

“I’m really encouraged about where we are. I remain concerned about the misinformation,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer for AU Health. “When people present the misinformation around the vaccines, it’s really unfounded and it’s harmful, and that’s a part of what we’re working against.”

Regardless, Georgia is exceeding expectations when it comes to getting shots in arms. Fifteen percent of people in Georgia have been fully vaccinated and nearly a third have received one dose.

“I would say we’re way further ahead than I ever anticipated we’d be at this point,” Coule said. “I’m very encouraged by seeing that happen.”

Georgia is set to receive nearly $96 million from the CDC to expand COVID-19 programs in the state. A big focus is to get more ethnic and minority groups vaccinated like the Hispanic and Latino communities here.

“Some of this funding could go toward those specific issues because the vaccine hesitancy issue again in each of these communities is different,” Coule explained.

In black and African American communities, vaccination rates are great. AU says they’re glad to be leading the efforts in the CSRA.