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PRESS RELEASE

September 20, 2021

DOUGHERTY COUNTY MEDIA CONTACT:

Wendy Howell

Public Information Officer

229.302.3006 or 229.854.0006

whowell@dougherty.ga.us



Dougherty County First COVID-19 Vaccination Event Successful

Nearly 540 Vaccinated at First County Sponsored Mass Vaccination Event



DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA – Dougherty County’s first COVID-19 vaccination event held on last Saturday, September 18, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Albany Civic Center, was a success. With nearly 540 Dougherty County residents in attendance to receive either their first or second COVID vaccine, the event was held in partnership with Phoebe Putney Health Systems, the Southwest Georgia Department of Public Health, and Albany Area Primary Health Care, as well as other company and individual volunteers who provided support.

“We were pleased that so many Dougherty County citizens came out to take advantage of the vaccination event and we hope that many more who didn’t come out for their first vaccination, or those who came out and now need the second vaccination, will plan to join us for our next vaccination event,” said Michael McCoy, Dougherty County Administrator. “With our current COVID-19 numbers continuing to spike in Dougherty County, it is our hope that our citizens will step up and obtain the vaccinations in order to help further protect our community.”

Although the event was primarily a drive-through with vehicles already lined up at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, walk-ups were also served and many took advantage of this option at Saturday’s event. Additional chairs and fans were also provided for safety and comfort. The vaccination process was seamless and typically, took less than 25 minutes to complete from start to finish. This included the 15-minute required observation period. All participants, including staff, had a positive experience with no complaints or altercations.

“We are very proud of how we handled all members of our community, regardless of socioeconomic status,” said McCoy. “Everyone was treated with love, dignity and respect. Although this was a complicated undertaking with many partners, we all came together and worked as one team to benefit the community.”

With the number of Dougherty County residents who were vaccinated, it equates to an approximate health cost savings of nearly $100,000. Considering that 85 percent of those admitted to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital are unvaccinated, this is a huge cost savings, particularly to those who are uninsured, to taxpayers in Dougherty County.

For Dougherty County residents who obtained the COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, they received a $100 debit gift card funded by Dougherty County’s American Rescue Act Plan (ARAP) funds, which nearly $400,000 has been approved so far by the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners to be utilized for a vaccination incentive plan. A total of 530 debit gift cards were issued on Saturday, where 493 individuals received the first vaccine and 45 received the second. All individuals were Dougherty County residents, except for eight.

“With this event, we helped to save lives,” said McCoy. “This was a huge win for the community and we are looking forward to our second vaccination event in October.”

Dougherty County is the second county in the state of Georgia to offer an incentive-based COVID-19 mass vaccination event, trailing DeKalb County in the metro-Atlanta area, who recently pioneered the idea and vaccinated 1100-plus residents at their first vaccination event.

Dougherty County will hold the second COVID-19 vaccination event on Saturday, October 16, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Albany Civic Center. The $100 debit gift cards will be available to those receiving their first or second COVID-19 vaccination. Recipients must be a resident of Dougherty County with proof of residency and must be 18 years of age or older to qualify. For those individuals who are students at any Dougherty County college, a valid college identification is required to receive the incentive gift card.

Phoebe staff and members of the County Commissioners out at the Strive for 75 vaccination event. Cars lined up, volunteers coordinating with participants.