As some still struggle to get vaccines, doctors want patients to be able to turn to them

ATLANTA — Despite more mass vaccination sites open this week, some people continue to have problems getting appointments for the shot.

Channel 2 Anchor Wendy Corona talked to a group of people who is helping them -- and a local doctor who shared how he believes more shots could get into arms.

Lynley Teras helps moderate the Georgia COVID Vax Appointment Help Facebook page, in two months, it has grown to more than 17,000 members.

“Clearly, the need is still really strong,” Teras said. “Our Facebook group has probably facilitated several thousands of appointments.”

[SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia]

With more people now eligible and a total of nine mass vaccination sites open across the state, many seniors still find it difficult to secure a spot for their shot.

“The appointment sites are still really difficult to navigate,” Teras said.

Dr. Cecil Bennett is a family physician in Newnan. He reports that between 30 and 40 percent of his patients are still skeptical about the vaccine and believes family doctors may hold the key to vaccinating thee masses. But in his experience, private doctors aren’t getting the vaccine.

“There is some concern to me that now that the younger groups are able to access vaccines, they’re going to squeeze out my seniors,” Bennett said. “If given the opportunity, we can not only vaccinate more people, but we can vaccinate more skeptical people.”

[LINK: Where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia]

Bennett wants people to be able to discuss the vaccine with their trusted family doctor and get the shot there.

“75% of patients in this country have a primary care provider,” Bennett said. “It would be so much easier for us to take care of this issue nationally if we were more involved in the process.”

Bennett said he and many of his colleagues have registered with the state, but have no received vaccines. He also said herd immunity can only happen when about 80% of the population gets thee shot, so he feels family doctors need more consideration in the big picture.

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