By Sammy Taliercio
After many months of quarantine, facial coverings and limited social interactions, fearful Americans were given a brief feeling of hope in November of 2020 when it was announced that a vaccine to fight the coronavirus had been approved.
Five months later, just 25% of the country has been fully vaccinated as of April 19, according to the New York Times.
The New York Times also states that just 19% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, while 32% have at least received the first dose if being administered a vaccine that requires two.
With Governor Brian Kemp’s recent order to make all citizens in the state who are 16 years of age or older eligible for the vaccine, it may be possible to increase the number of people vaccinated in Georgia.
For those living in the area of Bulloch County, home to Georgia Southern University, there are many options to receive the vaccine here in our community.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there are eight vaccination sites set up at medical centers and pharmacies in Bulloch County, where many students and faculty of GS, as well as citizens living in the area, are waiting to receive their vaccines.
GS professor Rebecca Kennerly received the vaccine from a pharmacy in her hometown of Statesboro without knowing she had already contracted COVID-19.
“I felt terrible, it was worse than any flu I’d ever had, but we were mostly feeling dragged out and tired most of the day,” said Kennerly of the symptoms she and her husband experienced.
Kennerly tested and received a positive COVID test result on January 19, just over a week after her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Her first dose of the vaccine took no more than thirty minutes to be administered and required a fifteen minute observation period in case of an immediate reaction to the vaccine.
“The pharmacy experience was quick and painless but I recommend getting it anywhere you can get it as soon as possible, whatever is the most convenient and fast,” said Kennerly.
Kennerly received the Pfizer vaccine from local Statesboro pharmacy, The Prescription Shop, located in Statesboro. Vaccinations at the Prescription Shop are currently being offered via appointment only and can be made over the phone.
According to Steven Gray, the chief pharmacist for the pharmacy, The Prescription Shop has administered “somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 vaccinations since December.”
Another location to receive a COVID vaccine from is the drive-through vaccination site set up at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Due to Governor Kemp’s expansion of vaccine eligibility in the state, students and faculty who were previously ineligible for the vaccine were offered appointments at the drive-in clinic on April 2.
Almost immediately after becoming eligible, sophomore Caitlynne Moore received the Moderna vaccine during an appointment at the Paulson drive-in clinic on Friday, April 16.
“I wanted the extra protection since classes are going back to in person next year and I’m not about to get sick,” said Moore.
Moore said her vaccination process felt smooth and lasted approximately twenty minutes, excluding the fifteen minute waiting period she was asked to stay for following the injection of the vaccine.
“It was really easy to set up the appointment and the entire thing was safe so I definitely think anyone who hasn’t gotten it yet should go to the drive-in, especially if you’re coming back to school with me in the fall because you will not be infecting me,” said Moore.
Information on how to schedule a vaccine appointment can be found on the GS website as well as the Georgia Department for Public Health website.