Georgia’s doctors, nurses could get COVID-19 vaccine by next week – but will they take it?

ATLANTA — While it may take months for the COVID-19 vaccine to be available to all of us, some doctors and nurses could get the shot next week.

Channel 2′s Tony Thomas has learned that healthcare providers across the state are preparing to give out the vaccine while frontline workers have to decide to take the vaccine or not.

Georgia Nurses Association president Richard Lamphier told Thomas that he has no qualms about taking that shot.

“I’d be happy to be the first person in line to take the vaccine,” Lamphier said. “That’s how much I believe in it, and I really think it’s the thing that’s going to help us fight the pandemic.”

Surveys show 30%-40% percent of healthcare workers aren’t sure they’ll take the vaccine.

One of the state’s larger regional providers, Augusta University Health, advised its workers Wednesday that the vaccine could be on campus next week.

“I think for Pfizer, the best-case scenario is next week, the week of Dec. 14, toward the latter half of the week. For the Moderna (vaccine), I think it’s a similar time frame just delayed a week,” said Dr. Joshua Wyche with Augusta University Health.


Augusta University is serving as a hub for vaccine distribution.

The plan calls for healthcare providers and nursing homes to get the vaccine first. Then high-risk and people over 65 will be able to get it. Most of the rest of us will be further down the line.

“That is months away if not close to 12-18 months,” Wyche said.

Lamphier believes his nurses will set the example from the front lines.

“You expect this to go smoothly?” Thomas asked Lamphier.

“I do,” Lamphier said.

“How much pressure will this take off your members?” Thomas asked Lamphier.

“I think it’s going to be a huge sense of relief,” Lamphier said.

Lamphier said he believes the biggest helpwill be giving nurses and doctors confidence to go in and treat their patients, knowing they have the vaccine.

It will be the first steps in what is expected to be a long process.