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Winter weather delays COVID vaccine shipments
Icy conditions may force appointments to be rescheduled
Ted Wynn

Snowy and icy weather across much of the nation has “significantly” delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to Georgia, and some providers have been forced to reschedule appointments.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that normally would have arrived earlier this week were held back by the manufacturers due to the winter weather. Officials said vaccine providers would contact patients if rescheduling an appointment is needed.

Also, for people who were scheduled to receive second doses and are concerned about not being vaccinated at three or four weeks, the CDC said second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be administered up to six weeks after the first dose.

When those shots can be administered will depend on when vaccine shipments resume and when they arrive in Georgia, health officials said. Delays are expected to continue through the week.

Even with the delay, Bulloch County providers received an additional 1,700 vaccine doses earlier this week. According to the Department of Health, Bulloch vaccine providers have administered 11,548 doses of the 14,100 vaccines the county has been allocated as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, after recording fewer than 2,000 new COVID cases for three consecutive days for the first time since Nov. 8-10, Georgia topped 2,000 cases on Wednesday, with 2,265. 

In Bulloch County, there were eight new cases reported Tuesday and 15 on Wednesday. Bulloch now has recorded 4,927 total COVID cases, which have resulted in 47 deaths and 190 local residents being hospitalized since the pandemic began in March, said Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn.

Also, the state Department of Health has reported 38 non-confirmed deaths, which represent Bulloch citizens who received a positive antigen/rapid test for COVID-19, developed COVID-19 symptoms and then died. 

The state's total number of confirmed cases is now up to 796,547. Georgia reported 78 deaths on Wednesday and 180 on Tuesday – the state’s second worst single-day total. The state death toll now stands at 14,254 since March.

Vaccine appointments

The Bulloch County Health Department is accepting new appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, anyone 65 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine along with other groups, including health care workers and law enforcement and rescue personnel.

The only way to schedule an appointment at the Bulloch Health Department is to call (855) 473-4374. Officials asked callers to be patient while on hold to make an appointment. 

If an appointment is not available at the Altman St. office in Statesboro, they can schedule an appointment at any of the health departments in the area through the same appointment number.


Wynn said East Georgia Regional Medical Center staff on Wednesday were caring for 17 COVID patients, with seven patients on ventilators.

COVID cases that require hospitalization continue to see a strong decline in Georgia. After setting a single-day high Jan. 11 with 6,108 state residents hospitalized, that number dropped to 3,119 hospitalized on Tuesday. Hospitalizations have declined almost every day since Jan. 11.

Across the United States, cases that require hospitalization have been cut in half since hitting a peak on Jan. 6 of 132,474 Americans in the hospital with COVID. On Tuesday, hospitalizations had dropped to 64,533. It marked the 35th consecutive day of a decline in hospitalizations.

National case numbers

According to statistics from the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, as of Wednesday afternoon, 489,933 Americans had died from coronavirus. Also, Johns Hopkins reported the U.S. has had 27,811,617 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Bulloch Schools

The Bulloch County Schools system has reported five new cases this week, and a total of 567 COVID cases since classes started on Aug. 17. Schools are closed this week for Winter Break.

Local colleges 

Georgia Southern had 52 total cases reported Feb. 8-14 — 32 self-reported and 20 university confirmed cases. GS reported 80 total cases for the week of Feb. 1-7.

The 52 new coronavirus cases include 44 on the Statesboro campus. 

East Georgia State College reported one new case across its three campuses on Monday. The college has had a total of 153 cases across its three campuses since Aug. 17.

Ogeechee Technical College reported one new case for the week of Feb. 8–14. Ogeechee Tech has had a total of 64 cases across its campuses since Aug. 17.    

Testing sites

COVID-19 testing operated by Mako Medical is available at Luetta Moore Park, 585 Martin Luther King Drive. 

Testing schedule: Monday, Wednesday — 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday — 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Friday — 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; second and fourth Saturday of each month — 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

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