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Richmond County leads in vaccine distribution



AUGUSTA, Ga.— A look at how fast states are distributing vaccines, and Georgia is in last place. 27,547 vaccines have been administered per 100,000.

Not all counties are slow at getting shots in arms. As of Thursday, 106,297 vaccines had been administered. Unlike in rural areas, residents have several options in Richmond County. They can get vaccinated through pharmacies, hospitals and the Department of Public Health.

“It is very vital for us that we’re keeping up with demand and orders,” Rebecca Kershner, Richmond County Health Department’s County Nurse Manager, says.

Making vaccinations easy plays a big part as well. 700 people can now be vaccinated a day at Craig Houghton Elementary School because DPH now allows patients to schedule appointments online.

“We struggled for a long time with trying to get people scheduled,” Susan Beckham, the East Central Health District Emergency Preparedness Director, says. “The electronic schedule helps a lot with that.”

Richmond County has also worked to build trust, which has been key in vaccinating those living in underserved communities.

“The work we’ve seen throughout the Augusta area and in the black and African American communities through the partnerships with faith-based organizations, the trust that’s been building over the years, is really showing how powerful that is and why the Augusta area is having high vaccination rates,” Dr. Joshua Wyche, Augusta University Health’s Director of Pharmacy, explains.