DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County health officials are having to make a trade-off in order to get residents vaccinated against COVID-19.
In order to meet the increased demand to get health care workers, first responders and long-term care facility residents vaccinated, the DeKalb County Board of Health will be canceling all scheduled COVID-19 testing appointments through Saturday.
"Those individuals who had appointments scheduled have been notified and provided options to reschedule next week or register for testing at another location, including testing sites in neighboring counties," health officials said.
Beginning Monday, only the site at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church will be dedicated to COVID-19 testing within DeKalb County.
Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church
1879 Glenwood Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
Also, on Monday, health officials said the BrandsMart USA site in Doraville and the former Sam’s Club site in Stonecrest will shift to COVID-19 vaccination for the current phase at that time (adults age 65 and older, as well as their caretakers).
Health officials said details regarding vaccination hours and registration will be released later this week.
The news comes on the same day the Georgia Department of Health confirmed the first case of a new, more contagious variant of COVID-19 - first spotted in the United Kingdom - has surfaced in the state. The same variant has been confirmed in a handful of other US states, including Florida, New York and Colorado.
The United States and the world has begun vaccinating against the coronavirus, but the rollout has been sluggish.
The nation's top infectious disease expert said the U.S. could soon be doing a million COVID-19 vaccinations a day, but Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning the next few weeks could be dangerous as the coronavirus surges.
The slow pace of vaccinations is frustrating health officials and a desperate public alike. Only about a third of the first supplies shipped to states in recent weeks has been used.
Fauci said vaccinations already started speeding up, and with the holidays over, he expected that pace to pick up to a million or more daily.
Material from the Associated Press appears in this report.