The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine remains high in Walker County. Thanks to a partnership between Walker County Government, Georgia Department of Public Health and the Walker County Health Department, the process to get a vaccine has been streamlined.
One call now does it all. Eligible residents can call the Walker County COVID-19 hotline at 706-620-0887 or 706-670-1234 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to get their names on the waitlist to be vaccinated. Then, as supply becomes available locally, someone from the call center will reach back out to schedule an appointment at the Walker County Health Department.
As of Feb. 10, during the past two weeks, the Walker County COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline had helped 3,002 individuals in the Phase 1a+ category get on the waitlist for vaccine. The hotline had also booked 975 appointments for vaccination.
Ronald Underwood, who recently received his COVID-19 vaccine, said, “I am very impressed with how it’s gone because I being a senior citizen, so to speak, I was dreading if we had to get outside and stand and wait in line. This has been an excellent process.”
On appointment day, residents are asked to arrive right around their appointment time. There is only a one page document to fill out. If residents shows up too early and there are too many people inside, they may be asked to sit in their vehicles until their appointment to allow for social distancing in the Health Department lobby.
For many people, it takes about 10 to 12 minutes to go from arrival to shot in arm to back to the lobby.
“They took me right on time,” Stan Porter said. “It was painless. The lady was very good at giving shots. It was very quick, in and out.”
Vaccinations are currently being conducted at the Health Department office in LaFayette. But as more supply becomes available, additional providers will be able to administer the vaccine.
Porter added, “I think you are better off to have it than to not have it because the only way we’re going to get ahead of this virus is if enough people are inoculated that we can go back to some form of normalcy.”
Georgia has established multiple phases for the vaccine rollout, so those who are not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine right now will be sooner or later.