East Central Health District vaccinates 10,000 Augustans in Phase 1A


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The health department transformed Craig Houghton Elementary School in Augusta as people in Phase 1A drove through three steps around the building.

Step 1: Check in. Step 2: Vaccine. Step 3: Observation. That’s the process for anyone wanting to protect themselves from COVID-19.

We spoke with East Central Health District’s Interim District Nursing Director Rebecca Kershner about how things have been going.

She said, “We have been vaccinating approximately 400 plus per day.”

So far 10,000 of Augusta’s health workers, law enforcement and people 65 and older who made appointments with East Central Health District got a shot in the arm. Some have already received their second dose.

“I do believe we can expand more and more here,” Kershner said. “Also, all of our counties across our district, which is comprised of 13 counties, they are all offering vaccinations in their counties.”

Kershner added the health department has issued more than 17,000 vaccines region-wide, with Augusta being the largest. And she pointed out there was little hesitation at first.

“I think the biggest motivator is ending this pandemic and getting out of masks. Everybody dislikes wearing masks. They all want to see their families again. That has been the hardest part of this is the isolation,” she explained.

While some have chosen not to receive the second dose, Kershner said they are still going strong. And those trying to make an appointment should know it’s best to visit the East Central Health District’s website or call them at 706-721-5800.

Kershner added, “We still do have our phone system. It’s up and running. The problem is we get so many calls, which is great, that sometimes it makes all of our circuits go down and get busy. But still try to call, if you’re unable to connect online. If you have a family member who can help you with that, that would be a great option. If you have grandchildren or children who are tech savvy.”

Again, anyone who qualifies, that’s people in Phase 1 A, can sign up online or call.

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