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Georgia’s state-run mass vaccination sites closing in May after decrease in demand


(ATLANTA) — Georgia’s eight state-operated mass vaccination sites are set to close on May 21 following “a notable decrease in demand,” officials said.

After this Friday, the sites will no longer give first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Instead, they’ll offer second doses of Pfizer and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine until May 21, according to Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Chris Stallings.

“This transition to the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine for the next month allows us to complete the full vaccination cycle for Georgians who received their first Pfizer vaccination at our sites, continue providing COVID-19 vaccination to Georgians who wish to use our sites, and deploy Pfizer first doses previously allocated to GEMA/HS [Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security] to other local providers across Georgia,” Stallings said in a statement Monday.

The “notable decrease in demand” has been clear over the last two weeks, Sterling noted.

For the week of April 5, there were 21,997 first doses scheduled at the state-run sites, Cody Hall, a spokesperson for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, told ABC News. Last week, there were 17,049 first doses scheduled, he said.

After the May closures, the sites could reopen if needed, Hall added.

“As supply and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines has dramatically increased across the state, far more Georgians are now able to easily access the vaccine at their local pharmacy, grocery store, or doctor’s office,” Stallings said.

Georgia falls below the national average for vaccinations.

State data shows 3,509,845 Georgians have received at least one dose — accounting for 34% of residents. The number of fully vaccinated residents is 2,416,111, or 23% of Georgians.

Across the U.S., 42.5% of people have received at least one dose, while 28.9% of Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kemp said in a statement Monday, “It is now the state’s job to work closely with local providers, private partners, public health districts, and trusted community leaders to encourage more Georgians to get vaccinated. These highly-effective vaccines are our ticket back to normal, and the state stands ready to assist in getting more shots in arms moving forward.”

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