‘This is our way out of the pandemic’: Kemp pushes vaccinations for rural Ga.

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 10:24 AM CDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp urged all of Georgia to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially rural Georgians, during a ribbon-cutting for Phoebe Putney Health System’s two new $1 million dollar mobile wellness clinics in Albany Wednesday.

Ribbon cutting for two new mobile wellness clinics.
Ribbon cutting for two new mobile wellness clinics.(Source: WALB)

The mobile clinics will target under-serviced Georgians.

“I firmly believe that we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Kemp at the event.

Kemp believes Phoebe’s new mobile wellness clinics will help Georgia put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

“You gotta take healthcare to them,” Kemp said.

The $1 million dollar clinics will provide care for a variety of conditions and needs, like chronic conditions, such as diabetes.

Phoebe described them as “full-service clinics on wheels” that will have a bathroom, exam rooms and telehealth capabilities among other services on board. However, Phoebe officials said the clinic’s primary focus now will be to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kemp is unsure on how soon we can expect all of South Georgia to be vaccinated.

“Well, I wouldn’t want to speculate on a time frame right now but we’re moving very quickly,” Kemp told WALB News 10.

The governor strongly believes the mobile wellness clinics are the way of the future in beating COVID-19.

“I really see those mass vaccination sites at some point in the near future playing out,” said Kemp during Wednesday’s press conference.

The clinics have already been in use, according to Phoebe officials.

There are four stops planned for Baker County next week and more stops coming soon, especially as Governor Kemp’s order to expand the criteria for COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone 16 and older goes into effect Thursday.

“It’s gonna be a lot of people. So, again, we prefer people make an appointment. We’re gonna be ready, we got the supply. The governor has ensured that we have the supply that we do. We’re ready to get this state vaccinated,” said Phoebe CEO and President Scott Steiner.

Steiner and Kemp talking after the event.
Steiner and Kemp talking after the event.(Source: WALB)

Phoebe officials said they see a whole fleet of mobile wellness clinics in their future. They said these clinics will be in use long after the pandemic.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that better days are ahead,” said Kemp.

Governor Kemp was also in Columbus Wednesday, touring its mass vaccination site.

All of this just hours before all Georgians 16 and up can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

As the expansion continues, Governor Kemp said they will get vaccines to where Georgia needs them. This after Albany’s mass vaccination site closed Friday.

“It is safe, it’s is effective, it is a medical miracle what we have. It is concerning that we have hesitancy in rural parts of our state. I’ll be getting my vaccine on Friday in Waycross to show people in rural Georgia that this vaccine is safe. This is our way out of the pandemic,” said Kemp.

The governor is urging everyone to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you.

The Phoebe mobile clinics will be making several stops in Baker County next week.

On Tuesday they will make their first stop at the Patmos Freewill Baptist Church from 9 a.m. to noon and Mount Airy Baptist Church from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 30th.

Their third stop will be at the Nothchaway Baptist Church off of Newton Highway from 9 a.m. to noon and the Hawkinston Volunteer Fire Department from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 1.

For more information about the mobile clinic and how you can schedule an appointment, call (229) 312-1919.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.

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