ALBANY, Ga. — Following the recent announcement that people 65 and older and first responders will soon be included in Phase 1A of Georgia’s COVID Vaccine Plan, Southwest Health District will begin making appointments this week. 

Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group, the health district said in a press release Sunday. The COVID vaccine is available by appointment at all 14 county health departments in the Southwest Georgia Health District, including the Colquitt County Health Department.

On today only, Jan. 4, those meeting criteria can schedule their vaccine by calling their local public health department. The Colquitt County Health Department can be reached at (229) 589-8464.

Starting Tuesday, Jan. 5, those who qualify can schedule an appointment through the public health call center hotline at (229) 352-6567. The Phase 1A expansion (65 and older and first responders) vaccinations will start on Jan. 11, but appointments can be made as early as Jan. 4.

“Different areas of the state are completing Phase 1a at different times based on the number of healthcare workers and LTCF residents and staff they have to vaccinate,” said Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey.

“This expansion of 1a eligible vaccination criteria will allow vaccine to be administered as quickly as possible to our most at-risk populations in terms of exposure, transmission and severity,” she said. “It also gives healthcare providers and public health staff time to plan and work with local communities across the state to ensure safe and efficient deployment of limited vaccine supplies.”

Those who want to be vaccinated against COVID but do not currently fit into phase 1A should stay tuned to media outlets for updates on COVID vaccine eligibility. For up-to-date information on the vaccine plan, visit the Southwest Health District website www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.

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