Southeast Georgia Health System Administers 4,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses in 8 Days
Since January 11, the effective date of Governor Kemp’s expansion of the COVID-19 vaccine beyond health care workers and long term care facility residents, Southeast Georgia Health System has administered nearly 4,000 vaccine doses.
“We are very pleased at the response of our team members and community to receive the vaccine,” says Michael D. Scherneck, president and CEO. “The vaccine offers the opportunity to stop the spread of COVID-19, so of course we want as many people as possible to get it. It’s our goal to provide no less than 2,500 vaccines per week as long as we continue to receive supplies. Our team members are working tirelessly to call and schedule people as quickly as we receive the vaccine, guide them through the process and administer vaccines. It takes an incredible amount of planning and coordination to make the process as efficient as possible, and I’m very proud of them and how well it is going.”
Since receiving its initial vaccine supply in late-December, the Health System has received a total of 5,421 Pfizer-BioNTech doses and 2,500 Moderna doses. Following CDC guidelines, after offering the vaccine to its highest-risk team members (those who have the most contact for the longest period of time with COVID patients), the Health System began offering the COVID-19 vaccine to Phase 1A+, which includes police officers, firefighters, first responders, and high-risk individuals age 65 and over and their caregivers.
“We recognize that there are many people in our community who wish to receive the vaccine and, as more supplies become available, we will work diligently to ensure that everyone who desires a vaccine can receive one,” says Scherneck. “We know many of you are anxious but we ask you to be understanding. The availability is dependent on the vaccine supplies we receive. Our team is on top of it, they’re placing the orders. We just need to receive the supplies and as soon as we do, people will be able to schedule appointments for a vaccine.”
Scherneck added that once additional vaccine supplies are received, the Health System will activate its online vaccine appointment scheduler at sghs.org/covid-19. Appointments will be available in Brunswick or Kingsland, but will be subject to change based on the Health System’s vaccine supply. Individuals must bring their Medicare card and a form of identification, wear a shirt that gives access to the upper arm and wear a mask. Following the vaccination, recipients will be required to remain in an observation area for 15 minutes to ensure they do not experience any adverse reaction. Recipients must also be available for a second dose 21 or 28 days later, depending on the type of vaccine received.
“We continue to treat COVID-19 patients every day, and it’s not just elderly patients,” Scherneck says. “We have 30 and 40 year olds with COVID-19 on our critical care unit. People who probably thought that they wouldn’t be affected by the virus because they were young and healthy and now they’re fighting for their lives. Now is not the time to let down our guard. We have to get ahead of this terrible virus. Even after receiving the vaccine, it remains extremely important to continue following safety protocols. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and avoid large gatherings for the health and safety of all of us.”
Updated vaccine information will be available on the Health System’s website at sghs.org/covid-19.
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, two comprehensive Cancer Care Centers and multiple specialty care centers, including orthopaedic and spine care, joint replacement, breast care, maternity, outpatient rehabilitation, sleep management and wound care. The Brunswick Campus Cancer Care Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and offers the only CyberKnife® M6 with MLC technology in Georgia. Additionally, the Southeast Georgia Physician Associates medical group includes more than 140 providers working in 20 different medical specialties at more than 50 locations. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.