Francis Kwarteng AAPHC Vaccine.jpg

With positive COVID-19 numbers continuing to drop significantly in the region, a southwest Georgia health provider is doing its part to provide protection against the virus to as many people as possible.

ALBANY — With positive COVID-19 numbers continuing to drop significantly in the region, a southwest Georgia health provider is doing its part to provide protection against the virus to as many people as possible.

Albany Area Primary Health Care will present a mass vaccination clinic Saturday at the Monroe High School Gymnasium at 900 Lippitt Drive in Albany. The clinic will be conducted from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. This is the second vaccine clinic for AAPHC, with some 1,000 people vaccinated during the first, held on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The provider is offering vaccinations on weekdays at the Phoebe East facility and also has neighborhood clinics in Baker, Calhoun, Crisp, Dooly, Lee, Thomas and Terrell counties.

“We’re looking at, now, 250 people we will be able to serve at that (Saturday) clinic,” Joycelyn Yates, AAPHC’s chief quality officer, said.

The clinic comes in the midst of continuing good pandemic news on the local front. Officials with the Phoebe Putney Health System announced Thursday the continuation of a downward slide in numbers of COVID-19 patients at Phoebe’s facilities. Official numbers Thursday were 56 patients at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s main campus and Phoebe North facilities in Albany, 12 patients at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus and one patient at Phoebe Worth in Sylvester.

Those numbers are less than half of the totals from only two weeks ago.

Albany Area Primary Health Care officials noted that there is no cost for vaccinations at Saturday’s event. Individuals must call in (229-338-7589) to get an appointment, though.

AAPCH is partnering with the Southwest District Health office in Albany and Phoebe in providing vaccinations, Yates said. On Thursday it had 458 vaccine appointments scheduled and more than 400 for Friday.

The health care system also is poised to provide shots when Phase 1B opens that will include essential workers and educators.

“Educating our patients is key,” Yates said. “We’re hoping to better educate our patients of why the vaccine is so important. We are working (with) local pastors and churches to get the word out.”

Local officials announced last week that they had administered more than 60,000 vaccines since being given the go-ahead to start public vaccinations.

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