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The shots were given on a day when Georgia recorded one of its worst days of the pandemic, with a combined 7,437 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported by the Department of Public Health. The state also reported 32 net new confirmed COVID-19 deaths and an additional 24 deaths deemed as “probable.”
“It seems like it’s been bad news after bad news,” Paradee said: “Another spike is coming. More deaths, more infections. So to have something that could treat it — we’re very sick of watching people die. We really want to do anything we can to help people from dying.
“And put an end to all this.”
Elsewhere in Georgia, two patients at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta also received the vaccine — apparently the first in patients in Georgia to receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Some health care workers there also received the vaccine.
Tyrone Milner, an inpatient at the Spinal Care Injury Unit of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, receives a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Milner was the first patient at the medical center to receive the vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center)
First responders, doctors, nurses and other health care workers in Georgia also lined up for shots or signed up for an appointment, expressing relief and excitement.
Thousands more, if not millions, sat waiting and wondering, however, as the state and federal governments apparently struggled to move shipments across the country and to deliver updates.
In Georgia, state officials who had predicted the state would receive “hundreds of thousands” of doses in the first wave revealed Tuesday that the state was scheduled to receive 84,825 of the 2.9 million block of doses being distributed nationwide now.
Of that allotment, 16,575 doses are to come tomorrow, and the bulk on Thursday.
And while nursing homes were hoping to begin vaccinations next week, Toomey said Tuesday that it would be late December or early January before vaccinations begin. The state had just signed an agreement and given the go-ahead for CVS and Walgreens to administer the vaccinations through a federal partnership program, she said.
If the second vaccine, developed by the Moderna company, is authorized this week as expected, Toomey said she expects the state will receive174,000 doses of that vaccine, perhaps as soon as next week.
“I wanted to, again, beg all Georgians to be patient,” Toomey said, “because even as we are excited about this vaccine campaign we have relatively few vaccines initially to begin with.”
Across the U.S., shipments of the vaccine were to arrive at 145 distribution centers on Monday and were to reach 425 centers Tuesday. The final shipment of the first dose was to be on Wednesday, going to 66 centers, federal officials said.
What was less clear was the reasoning behind what appeared to be a lag in Georgia’s dose shipments compared to some other states. In Texas, state…