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COVID-19 vaccine arrives here

The nurses and other personnel at the Lamar County Health Department were absolutely giddy with excitement Monday morning as they administered the first COVID-19 vaccinations to be given here. Nurse/manager Sherri Farr and local physician Dr. Lee Woodall, chairman of the Board of Health, simultaneously got the first doses. The initial vaccinations are being given to frontline medical personnel, first responders and nursing home patients. They began lining up at the health department at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The vaccines arrived Friday in shipping coolers that keep them at 73 degrees below zero or 30 degrees colder than the North Pole, as one of the nurses pointed out. They were stored over the weekend in a super freezer at Upson Regional Medical Center. Five-dose vials are thawed and then reconstituted with a mixing agent before administration. The health department will begin to vaccinate the general public in mid-January with those over 65 and others who have compromised immune systems being first. The vaccines are free if administered by DPH. Physicians will receive the vaccines soon. The first vaccine available is that developed by Pfizer. The Moderna vaccine will be out in a a matter of days, according to DPH epidemiologist Alex Wood who spoke to the Barnesville Rotary Club Dec. 15. Wood admitted she was skeptical about the vaccine until about three weeks ago. ‘I did a lot of research on it. That’s what I’ve trained in. Now, I am confident and will be vaccinated when it is available,’ Wood said. The vaccinations consist of two injections with the second due 21 days after the initial dose.

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