Georgia receives first batch of COVID-19 vaccines

ATLANTA — Georgia is one of the first states to received the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“Shipments of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Coastal Georgia at two public health locations with ultracold freezers required for storage and temperature control of the vaccine. Additional shipments of vaccine are expected later this week at facilities in other parts of the state, including metro Atlanta,” the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a news release Monday.

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The first wave of nearly 3 million doses developed by Pfizer started to be shipped out Monday will continue to go out to all states over the next three days.

Health care workers and long-term nursing home residents and staff are among the first to receive the vaccinations.

“Today’s shipments contain 5,850 doses of vaccine for individuals to receive their first dose of the two dose series. The Coastal Health District is fine-tuning the logistics of thawing, preparing and administering the vaccine, and will begin vaccinating front line public health staff this afternoon. A broader vaccination program for high priority individuals in Chatham, Glynn, and surrounding counties will begin tomorrow. The district will also make vaccine available to local hospitals as those facilities await their own deliveries,” DPH said.


Pfizer/BioNTech is the first vaccine to be greenlighted by the Food and Drug Administration. The director of the Atlanta-based CDC Dr. Robert Redfield also approved the vaccinations late Saturday night.

That approval cleared the way for people 16 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine shot in their arms.

In metro Atlanta, hospitals are ready.

The chief medical officer at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Dr. Mark Cohen, told Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge that the hospital expects to receive the vaccine any day.

He says they’re ready for the Pfizer vaccine which has to be kept in ultra-cold freezers, as well as the ways it has to keep it cold as it’s being prepared to be given.

The company is shipping doses in temperature controlled boxes packed with dry ice. Sandy Springs-based UPS and FedEx will help deliver the vaccines.

Operation Warp Speed officials said the vaccines will go to 145 distribution centers around the country by Monday. An additional 425 sites will get shipments Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.