ATLANTA — A new report found that Georgia ranks last for getting people vaccinated against COVID-19.
The U.S. News and World report revealed that fewer than 1.3% of Georgians have gotten a vaccine.
At least 923,050 doses have been shipped to the state. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the vaccines have arrived, but of those, only 235,000, or 30%, have been administered.
The Georgia Department of Health is reporting slightly different numbers, with 283,177 vaccines administered. Gov. Brian Kemp has said more people in the state have actually been vaccinated, but hospitals are behind in their reporting.
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Channel 2′s Wendy Corona talked to seniors who said the process to register for the vaccine has been frustrating and disappointing. They believe there is a lot of room for improvement in getting the tremendous task done.
Howard Allgeier, 87, said he still doesn’t have an appointment to get his vaccine, and not because he hasn’t tried. He has been consistently on Fulton County’s Department of Public Health website to register.
“It was already booked for a month,” Allgeier said. “They didn’t take my name or anything.”
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Kathy Floyd, the executive director of the Georgia Council on Aging, said the only way she’s heard that seniors could schedule appointments was online.
“They’ve had to refresh, refresh, refresh trying to get those appointments,” Floyd said.
Phone calls are impossible. The current system favors those who have strong Wi-Fi connections, and hours to dedicate themselves to connect.
“Eighty-five percent of the deaths have been in the 60+ population, so it is important that this population get these vaccines,” Floyd said.
Geri Fitterman, of Dunwoody, finally got her vaccine Thursday morning after spending a lot of time on the computer to register.
“Today, I’m a lot more comfortable than yesterday,” Fitterman said. “It’s like trying to get tickets for a concert that everybody wants to get tickets for.”
Both Fitterman and Allgeier said the messaging to seniors has not been consistent.
“People get appointments in every county,” Allgeier said. “You should not be able to do that. You should get only in the county that you live.”
No-shows and repeat bookings are blocking out seniors who need the shot.
“I know one person, actually two people in their 80s, we have no idea when they’re going to be able to make an appointment at this point,” Fitterman said.
It’s a test of patience mixed with a lot of luck to lock in a time.
“We’ve waited long enough,” Fitterman said.
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