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Most Bulloch residents getting second shots
Demand for first vaccine dose slipping across nation

With more than 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to Bulloch County since December, there is no waiting to get a vaccine for local residents who want one at this time.

In fact, Bulloch County vaccine providers administered only 42 first vaccine doses in the past two days, but in the same two days, 332 residents received their second dose to become fully vaccinated.

“We’re doing mostly second doses,” said Len McCook, co-owner of McCook’s pharmacy. “I would describe our current vaccine supply as sufficient.”

And while the United States as a whole is averaging 3 million shots per day, many parts of the nation are seeing a similar slowdown of demand for first shots.

According to Associated Press reports that in Iowa, nearly half of the counties are not accepting new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state’s allotment because demand has fallen off. In Florida, Palm Beach County plans to close mass vaccination clinics with thousands of available vaccine slots unclaimed. In rural West Virginia, a vaccine clinic at a casino/race track parking garage is opening shots to out-of-state residents to address lagging demand. 

As the national vaccination program progresses, health officials believe it will only get more difficult to sustain the current pace of about 3 million shots per day. Roughly 130 million Americans have yet to receive one dose.

Surveys have shown that vaccine hesitancy has declined since the rollout of the shots, but officials believe they have to make getting vaccinated easier and more appealing, particularly for younger Americans who are less at risk from the virus and do not feel the same urgency to get a shot.

That means providing incentives and encouragement to get vaccinated, as well as reducing difficulty surrounding the vaccination process. Federal officials are encouraging state and local efforts to bring vaccines directly to people, whether through initiatives reaching the homebound or clinics at large employment sites.

Local vaccine appointments are readily available at more than two dozen locations across Bulloch County, including pharmacies, East Georgia Regional Medical Center, local doctors’ offices and the Bulloch Health Department.


Local, state COVID cases

For the eighth day in a row, no COVID-19 patients at East Georgia Regional Medical Center were on ventilators. Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn said the hospital was treating seven COVID patients, but none needed a ventilator.

Bulloch had four new cases on Wednesday and one on Tuesday. The county now has a total of 5,221 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March 2020. Overall, the COVID cases have resulted in 63 confirmed deaths and 217 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March.

Also, the state Department of Health has reported 48 non-confirmed deaths, which represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/ rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died.

Across the state, there were 980 new cases on Wednesday and 985 on Tuesday. The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 871,460.

The state reported 23 deaths on Wednesday and 14 on Tuesday. Georgia’s death toll now stands at 17,272 since March 2020.


National cases

According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Monday afternoon, 569,185 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 31,847,389 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.


Bulloch Schools

The Bulloch County Schools system has had three new cases this week. A total of 635 COVID cases have been reported since classes started on Aug. 17. Since the beginning of March, the system has reported a total of only 38 new cases.


Local colleges

Georgia Southern had 12 total cases reported April 12–18 — 11 self-reported and one university-confirmed cases. GS reported 17 total cases for the week of April 5-11.

East Georgia State College reported one new case on its Statesboro campus on Sunday. The college has had a total of 159 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.

Ogeechee Technical College reported one new case the week of April 5-11 and one new case for the week of April 12-18 – both on the Bulloch campus. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 72 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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