Most metro counties pause appointments for COVID-19 vaccine over lack of doses

ATLANTA — Georgia said there are 19 cases of the U.K. variant of coronavirus in metro Atlanta. As the demand for the vaccine is so great, public health departments have temporarily stopped taking appointments to get them.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot checked with health departments across the metro on Monday and they are basically all saying the same thing: they’re not taking any more appointments to get the vaccine until they get more doses.

In Clayton County, their website said “all COVID vaccine available appointment slots are full.”

Gwinnett-Newton Rockdale Public Health said “all COVID-19 vaccine appointments are full through Friday, February 5th.”

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office released a video Monday highlighting what they say they’ve been doing to get the vaccine out to the 1A+ population -- about 2 million people.

They say they’re sorely limited by the 146,000 dose weekly allocation.

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“My team is working every day to distribute the vaccines to our priority population,” Kemp said.

Monday, they again defended their decision not to include teachers in that group by saying there just isn’t enough vaccine.

“Expanding eligibility now at our current supply levels will only make it more difficult for our most vulnerable Georgians to make appointments and receive the vaccine.”

Gwinnett County Democrat Jasmine Clark still wishes teachers could be included but understands the math.

“The people who probably need it the most are the people who are having the hardest time accessing the vaccine, and then to hear that we still haven’t figured this out after all this time, yeah, we’ve got to do better,” Clark said.

Hartwell Republican Alan Powell is encouraging people, especially in rural Georgia, not to stop trying.

“At some point there’s going to be an abundance of vaccines, but sooner the better. So I would tell folks that they need to keep on continuing until they can get these vaccines,” Powell said.

DeKalb and Cobb counties also said they’ve had to put a pause on accepting vaccine appointments because they just don’t have the supply.

All of the health departments are encouraging those eligible for the vaccine to keep checking for new appointments.