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Georgia public health commissioner receives COVID-19 vaccine

DPH head Dr. Kathleen Toomey received the vaccine on Thursday afternoon at Grady Memorial Hospital, along with a Grady ICU nurse.

ATLANTA — Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, was vaccinated on Thursday at Grady Memorial Hospital as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived around Atlanta.

Dr. Toomey joined Gov. Brian Kemp for a press conference to give an update on the state's vaccine distribution progress at Grady at 4 p.m. She and a Grady ICU nurse received their vaccinations.

Grady is among a number of large Atlanta area health systems that received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. The vaccines are expected to be administered to frontline healthcare workers.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that they had received their first delivery, and that on Thursday they would "begin administering them to patient-facing employees."

"This is a moment of change, a symbol of hope - and we're grateful to the many, many teams who made it possible for this delivery to safely make its way to us today," Children's wrote on Facebook.

Additionally, Piedmont Healthcare said about 100 of its employees in high-risk categories from Piedmont Newton and Piedmont Rockdale would be receiving their vaccines on Thursday in conjunction with the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments.

Public vaccinations with five of those workers took place at 1 p.m. Thursday.

The Wellstar Health System said its first doses would be given to voluntary team members at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital on Thursday, as well.

The Fulton County Board of Health also received doses, with the county's chief clinical officer, Dr. David Holland, posting video of his vaccination on Twitter:

Earlier this week, the first doses of the vaccine in the state of Georgia arrived at the Coastal Health District, where they were to be distributed in Chatham, Glynn and their surrounding counties.

Under its distribution plan, Georgia has prioritized administering the vaccine first to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

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