Georgia mass vaccination sites switching to J&J vaccine starting Monday

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Mass vaccination sites across Georgia will switch to the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine starting Monday, May 3.

The sites will also only offer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

The eight sites, which include one in Macon and one in Sandersville, are set to close altogether in a few weeks.

Kerry Futch, the site commander for the Macon mass vaccination site, says the contract for the sites will end on May 21, and they will not renew.

Shifting to the one dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and only the second dose of the Pfizer will help officials phase out the sites.

Futch says says the sites were meant to help get more shots in arms when vaccines weren’t largely available, but now there are multiple options for people to get a vaccine.

“This was kind of to get Georgia over that hump,” Futch said. “Now that we’ve done that, our agency needs to go back other responsibilities and prepare for hurricane season and anything else.”

Futch says many people who drive up to the Macon site are interested in getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Several weeks ago, use of the vaccine was halted after reports of it causing blood clots in a small percentage of the population.

Federal agencies resumed use of the vaccine with the warning that women younger than 50 should be aware of the potential side effect.

Futch says you should talk to your doctor if you have reservations about getting the vaccine.

“It’s like any other vaccination,” he said. “I would refer you to go talk to your local doctor or primary care physician. Do your own research. Figure out if it’s a good choice for you or not.”

Since February, the Macon mass vaccination site has administered more than 49,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The state’s eight mass vaccination sites have administered more than 282,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“It feels great to be apart of this,” Futch said. “To be apart of the community and see us help to get on that path to getting us to a normal lifestyle.”

If you want to get a vaccine at the mass vaccination sites

  • Appointments aren’t required at the mass vaccination sites, but they are encouraged.
  • You have until April 30 to get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the sites
  • Starting May 3, mass sites will only offer the one-dose J&J vaccine and the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • If you are getting your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, be sure to bring your vaccination card with you
Categories: Bibb County, COVID-19, Featured, Health, Local News, Medical, WMGT

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