ALBANY – Phoebe Putney Health System will reach a milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination effort Tuesday, surpassing 10,000 vaccinations, officials with the health care system announced.

Through Monday, Phoebe had administered 9,326 vaccines at vaccination sites in Albany, Americus and Sylvester, and it expected to provide at least 1,100 more Tuesday. This even as the post-holiday COVID-19 surge continues in the region.

“We want to continually grow our capacity to put shots in arms and protect more southwest Georgians from this virus,” Phoebe Health System President/CEO Scott Steiner said. “The work that has gone into our vaccination effort is truly incredible, and it’s running like clockwork. The one potential disruption to our plan is the vaccine supply. We’re just not sure when we’ll get additional deliveries of vaccines or how many we’ll receive, but we will continue to push full steam ahead and remain optimistic that vaccine supply will keep up with demand.”

Phoebe began administering vaccines to health care workers on Dec. 17, 2020, and opened community vaccination sites in Albany, Americus and Sylvester on Jan. 11 for southwest Georgians who are 65 and older. Based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health, only health care workers, first responders, those at least 65 years old and certain caregivers are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Phoebe has received countless compliments on the ease and efficiency of the vaccination process.

“The vaccination process was wonderful,” Nancy Morris, who got her shot at Phoebe’s largest vaccination site at Healthworks, Phoebe’s employee gym and wellness center adjacent to its main hospital, said. “We really appreciate that there were people outside to get us to the right place. Everybody was friendly, smiling and very, very nice.”

Ronnie Cook agreed.

“It was great,” he said. “I got right in and right out, and everybody was super nice.”

“It went so smoothly; I had a wonderful experience,” Velma Coley said. “It couldn’t have gone any better, and I advise everyone to get this shot.”

Phoebe is also now offering a mobile registration option for southwest Georgians who want to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. The new service allows people to handle the registration process with their smart phone in the palm of their hands. It does not replace the Phoebe COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline.

“It is important for us to vaccinate as many people as possible quickly, and we are constantly looking for ways to help us do that,” Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dianna Grant said. “People eligible to receive the vaccine can still call (229) 312-1919 and talk to a real person right here at Phoebe to schedule an appointment. The mobile option simply allows us to expand our capacity and make sure we’re filling every available vaccination appointment.”

Southwest Georgians who would like to use the mobile registration option should download the Phoebe Access App from the App Store or Google Play, then click on the COVID-19 vaccination registration link to begin the mobile scheduling process. Phoebe is also making plans to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations at certain Phoebe Physicians primary care clinics and will release those details soon.

Even as the vaccination process progresses, the region remains in the middle of a serious and deadly winter surge of COVID-19 cases. As of noon Tuesday, Phoebe’s COVID-19 numbers included:

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 105;

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Sumter Medical Center: 21;

♦ COVID-19 patients in Phoebe Worth Medical Center: 0;

♦ Total inpatients recovered: 1,748;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital: 221;

♦ Total COVID-19-related deaths at Phoebe Sumter: 52;

♦ Total vaccines administered: 9,326.

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