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Gov. Kemp outlines strategy to speed up COVID vaccine distribution

This weekend, patients who fall into the Phase 1b category - including health care workers, first responders and people 65+ - will have a chance to get vaccinated.

ATLANTA — To help speed up the vaccination process, Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order allowing additional medical technicians to administer the COVID-19 vaccines. 

As of Friday, Kemp said the state has administered just short of 25% of the vaccine supply delivered to the state by the federal government.

The governor said part of the reason is that the state is seeing high demand for the vaccine in metro areas, but low supply. However, the opposite appears to be true for rural areas of the state.

Kemp said the state is working to fix that and get the vaccine to the people who want it.

At a press conference Friday, Kemp outlined some of the ways the state is working to treat as many Georgians as possible.

Starting Monday, patients who fall into the Phase 1b category - which includes health care workers, first responders and people over the age of 65 - will have the largest opportunity to receive treatment since the vaccines arrived in our state. 

"There are four mass vaccination sites for healthcare workers in metro Atlanta located in Gwinnett, Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb counties," Kemp added. 

The governor said each site will have the capacity to administer thousands of doses, and some are already booked for appointments.

RELATED: How to get a COVID-19 vaccine in metro Atlanta

The state now has nearly 1,000 provider partners, according to officials, allowing for wider distribution of the shots.

"The state now has the capacity to administer 11,428 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines per day," Kemp said. "That is approximately 80 thousand doses a week."

One of those partners is Innovation Compounding in Kennesaw, headed by CEO Shawn Hodges.

"We have a lot of demand and we have a lot of patients asking for the vaccine," Hodges explained.

He said Innovation Compounding is preparing for a drive-thru clinic on Monday. 

"The drive through is very simple," he said. "We ask our patients to stay in their car and we actually come to you." 

Hodges added that patients only need to fill out a one-page form, then get vaccinated, then they will schedule the next dose.

All of the efforts together, should hopefully make an impact in the goal of getting everyone in the state protected from COVID-19.