ALBANY — Southwest Georgia residents have another option for COVID-19 vaccines now with the opening this week of a mass vaccination site on West Oakridge Drive.

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency opened the clinic at the Georgia Forestry Commission facility on Monday with the capability of administering up to 1,100 shots per day. Over the first two days of operation 223 people were vaccinated.

“We’re going to be here for at least the next couple of months,” said Lisa Ridriguez-Presley, external affairs supervisor for GEMA/HS. “After that it will be based on need.”

The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through the entrance at 1150 W. Oakridge Drive. It is one of four mass vaccination sites that recently opened across the state. There is no out-of-pocket cost for the shots.

American Sign Language interpreters will be at the site each Tuesday and Thursday. The clinic is open to all Georgia residents.

“We’ve seen a lot of people willing to make a three-hour drive down to get vaccinated,” Rodriguez-Presley said.

Vaccinations also are available through several other entities in the area, including Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany Area Primary Health Care and health departments in each county.

Initially the GEMA/HS clinic has been open to anyone who shows up, but the only way to ensure receiving a shot on the same day is by registering ahead of time.

“If you make an appointment, you are guaranteed to get a vaccine (that day),” Rodriguez-Presley said.

Those who do not register ahead of time may get a vaccine if one becomes available due to someone with an appointment failing to show up.

Individuals who qualify for vaccination under the current 1A+ vaccination phase include health care workers, those 65 and older and their caregivers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and first responders.

“Through our longstanding partnership with the Governor’s Office and The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, we were fortunate to be able to gain this site for our citizens here in Dougherty County,” Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said. “I am personally grateful to Gov. (Brian) Kemp and our partners with GEMA/HS for providing these needed services to our citizens in Dougherty County.”

To make an appointment, visit https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/. For additional details, visit https://gema.georgia.gov/gemahs-mass-vaccination-sites-faqs.

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