ATLANTA — If you're searching for the COVID-19 vaccine you may quickly realize appointments have been very limited and appointments will continue to be limited until the state's weekly allotment of doses increases significantly.
According to the governor's office, Georgia is currently receiving 146,000 doses per week from the federal government. Those doses are then split up across the state, from county health offices to pharmacies and hospitals.
If you're searching for an appointment to receive a shot at one of Georgia's hospitals, here is information you need to know, which varies from hospital to hospital.
An important note in Georgia: right now only people in the 1A+ category are eligible to receive the vaccine. That category includes:
- Healthcare workers (nurses, physicians, EMS, lab techs, environmental services)
- Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
- Adults 65+ and their caregivers
- Law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders (including volunteer fire departments, dispatchers, 9-1-1 operators)
Augusta University Health
To receive the COVID-19 vaccine through AU Health, you don't need to be an existing AU Health patient, the only requirement is that you're in the 1A+ category.
When doses are available there is a dedicated AU Health website where appointments can be made: https://www.augustahealth.org/vaccine/.
AU is updating that page as appointments open up. Details are also posted on AU Health's Facebook page. FYI, vaccination appointments must be made online.
Currently, Emory is only distributing the COVID-19 vaccine through "dedicated vaccine clinics," and by appointment only. Individual Emory physician offices will not have the vaccine and can't schedule appointments.
On a dedicated webpage, eligible individuals can request an appointment and will be placed on a waitlist. Emory will then contact people as doses are available, but caution - Emory says it might be days or weeks until you get a call due to supply issues.
If you're in the 65-years-old and up, or caregiver of someone 65+, category, Emory Healthcare's website mentions you must be an existing patient.
As vaccine supply levels allow, Grady is offering COVID-19 vaccinations, but only to existing Grady patients who meet the state's eligibility criteria.
Grady is contacting existing patients who are eligible and scheduling appointments, and also vaccinating eligible patients when they come in for scheduled clinic appointments.
Northeast Georgia Health System
NGHS has hosted seven vaccine events that were open to anyone, regardless of whether they were an existing patient. Currently, more vaccine supply is needed before additional large vaccination events will be scheduled.
The hospital system is also ready to begin offering current patients the vaccine through their physician's office, as well once more doses become available.
On an NGHS vaccine website, you can sign up to receive updates when announcements of additional appointments are made. Open spots have been filling up quickly, so NGHS leaders are stressing the importance of signing up for new appointment updates so you don't miss out.
There is also a video on the website with Northeast Georgia Medical Center staff answering patient questions about the vaccine.
On its website, Northside's latest update on COVID-19 vaccine information states, "Northside Hospital has started administering the COVID-19 vaccine to physicians and staff." There is no information detailing if other people eligible under the state's vaccination plan can receive the vaccine at Northside.
Phoebe Putney Health System
Due to vaccine supply constraints, Phoebe's online system shows only people in the 1A+ category who live in a Southwest Georgia county "with valid proof of residency" are able to request a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. They will be placed on a waitlist and are asked to select a preferred vaccine location with the options being Albany, Americus, or Sylvester.
Unlike some other healthcare systems, Phoebe is allowing people to make appointments online but also by phone at 229-312-1919.
At this time Piedmont is requesting patients not contact their doctor's office about scheduling a vaccine appointment.
"When you become eligible for the vaccination and scheduling is available, Piedmont will notify you with more information and instructions for scheduling your appointment," a Piedmont spokesman told 11Alive.
Piedmont is communicating with patients eligible under Georgia guidelines for the vaccine. The hospital system plans to contact more patients as the state's roll-out plan moves forward and more patients become eligible.
Redmond Regional Medical Center
Online, Redmond has details about the COVID-19 vaccine and answers FAQs. Under the heading "COVID-19 vaccine availability for general population," is the following: "For now, it is too early in the process to know when more vaccines will be approved or when we may have additional guidance on when vaccines will be available to our patients and community."
As of Jan. 11, Wellstar began "vaccinating our patients age 65 or older who have seen a Wellstar Medical Group primary care provider within the last three years," according to an online update.
As with the rest of the state, vaccine supply is limiting the number of appointments at Wellstar, but as more doses arrive appointments will be opened and existing patients who qualify can schedule an appointment through MyChart.
The hospital is also letting its existing patients know they don't have to call Wellstar to be on the waitlist but will be contacted when they become eligible and appointments are available.