Over the past several weeks, whenever I have been asked whether I plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine my answer has been a resounding, yes! In fact, I received my first vaccination on March 29, and I am proud to say that I received my second vaccination TODAY!
As a member of the business community, my message to you today is please encourage your employees, your friends, and your family to get vaccinated.
In a world still waiting to return to “normal” amid the pandemic, getting vaccinated is our best hope in Chatham County to get back to a more normal way of life. Business leaders now have a unique opportunity to show true leadership and civic responsibility by getting vaccinated and encouraging your workforce to protect themselves and the community.
According to Dr. Lawton Davis with the Public Health Department, 127,000 doses have been administered in Chatham County, with 80 percent of people 65 and older being vaccinated. However, Dr. Lawton reported that only 12 percent of people aged 25 to 35 are vaccinated in Chatham County, which is the group with the largest numbers of new cases.
Understandably, some people have concerns about getting vaccinated, however the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta ensures us that vaccines have been developed with safety as their top priority. The CDC also reminds us that fully vaccinated people can resume things that came to a stop during the height of the pandemic. Things like visiting other fully vaccinated family and friends and resuming travel this summer.
COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in the Coastal Health District. Thanks to Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health, restrictions have been lifted, now making all Georgians 16 years of age and older eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. While vaccines are available at the Health Department, several healthcare providers around the Coastal Health Districts have enrolled to administer vaccinations with no appointment needed. Below is a list of where you and your employees can get vaccinated in Chatham County.
Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) site at Gulfstream Aerospace, located at 2 Innovation Drive, no longer requires an appointment; however, appointments are strongly encouraged and will help you move through the queue more quickly. Appointments can be scheduled here. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and offers Pfizer vaccine, which is authorized for age 16 and older. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
In Chatham County, free transportation is available to the mass vaccination site at Gulfstream. For more information call 912-856-4563 to reserve a free transport. The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
I am proud to have been vaccinated against COVID. Please help spread the word and help the business community be a leader in the fight against the pandemic!
Jon Pannell, Chamber Chairman
Gray Pannell & Woodward LLP