LaGrange Police & Fire Receive First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, District 4 Public Health to Expand Phase 1A
City of LaGrange Police and Fire began receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, December 29th. LaGrange Police and Fire representatives are among the first responders in Troup County to receive the vaccine at this week’s District 4 Public Health’s vaccine clinic.
“The LaGrange Police Department is proud to be among the first to receive the COVID vaccine and lead from the front,” said LPD Chief Lou Dekmar. “We want to make sure our community knows that this is safe, and all of the area first responders are working together to try and keep our community safe.”
District 4 Public Health is charged with administering the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to first responders, including fire, EMS and law enforcement personnel who are at increased risk of exposure to the virus. The second round of the vaccine will be given in four weeks.
As of December 31, 2020, District 4 Public Health has administered over 1,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to area first responders and healthcare providers.
“I’m very pleased to see our first responders receiving the Covid vaccine,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “These men and women work hard to keep us all safe, and we hope this vaccine will help keep them safe.”
Governor Brian Kemp and Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., recently announced plans to add adults aged 65 and older to the current group of individuals eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Healthcare workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities are already in this highest priority group. The expanded administration of vaccine is expected to begin within the next two weeks provided there is adequate vaccine supply available.
At this time, District 4 Public Health does not have adequate vaccine supply to include adults aged 65 and older. All counties in District 4 Public Health are currently vaccinating first responders and healthcare providers who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
During the next two weeks, District 4 Public Health staff and county health department employees will work with community partners to plan for increased traffic at Points of Dispensing (PODs). This planning is critical for smooth delivery of the vaccine to the public in a drive through setting.
“This expansion of 1A eligible vaccination criteria gives us time to plan and work with our local communities to ensure safe and efficient deployment of limited vaccine supplies,” said District 4 Public Health Interim District Health Director Dr. Beverley Townsend. “We understand that you want this as soon as possible and we want you to get your COVID-19 vaccine, but we need your patience over the next two weeks while we prepare.”
District 4 Public Health will continue to provide updates on www.district4health.org letting the public know when the vaccine becomes available to the community.
District 4 Public Health is urging those receiving the vaccine to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. While the COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective in preventing illness in the individual being vaccinated, it is not yet known if the vaccine fully prevents person to person transmission or asymptomatic infections.
For more information on Georgia Department of Public Health’s Vaccination Plan go to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-plan. For more information on District 4 Public Health go to www.district4health.org.
District 4 Public Health is dedicated to preventing disease, promoting health and protecting our communities against health threats through education, service, advocacy and collaboration. District 4 Public Health serves people of all classes and economic status within Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding, Troup and Upson counties. Fees are based on income for those without insurance. For more information about District 4 Public Health, visit www.district4health.org.