Newly eligible for a COVID vaccine? Here’s how to book an appointment | #hospice | #elderly | #seniors
It’s been easier to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Chatham County lately. About 80% of those currently eligible have gotten at least one dose already, according to Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis. That’s reducing the demand for appointments while the supply of vaccine is increasing.
Demand is about to increase, however, as Georgia on Monday will open up two new categories of eligibility to receive the vaccine: those 55 and older, plus those 16 and older with a serious health condition.
Serious health conditions include: asthma, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, a history of stroke, ALS, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, other lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, HIV, liver disease, dementia, Alzheimers, overweight and obesity, sickle cell disease, and thalassemia.
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Those under age 55 do not have to show documentation of their health condition, said Coastal Health District spokeswoman Sally Silbermann.
For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. Pfizer vaccines are available at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites.
All previously eligible groups continue to be eligible including health care workers, long-term care facilities’ staff and residents, seniors 65 and older and their caregivers, law enforcement, pre-K to 12 educators, parents of children with complex medical conditions, and adults with intellectual or development disabilities and their caregivers.
Many more providers in Chatham County now have vaccines than did a month ago. Almost all of them require appointments to be scheduled online, which creates a hurdle for those who don’t have a computer, internet access or skill at using either.
For those who find themselves in that situation, one solution is to turn to friends or family for assistance. If that’s not possible, check the list below for options such as Hospice Savannah, Chatham County Health Department, and the GEMA site at Gulfstream, which list a phone line for those who have no other option. Check also with your own primary care doctor if you have one.
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Many of these online sites may not update the eligibility criteria until Monday, but the vaccine will be available to the expanded categories beginning that day, March 15.
Tips for making an appointment
- Know when new appointments become available. For the Coastal Health District, it’s eight days ahead of the next clinic.
- Don’t try to book the first available appointment you see on a list. That’s what everybody is trying to book. Scroll down and pick a later time or date.
- Don’t give up if your first choice is rejected. It may just be that you picked a popular time and date. Try again.
- If you accidentally book two appointments, make sure you notify the provider so they can re-open the second spot for someone else.
- Don’t try to book an appointment in Georgia if you’re not a Georgia resident at least part-time or can prove that you work in Georgia. You may be rejected.
- If you sign up for a vaccine waitlist, answer your phone even if you don’t recognize the caller’s number. It may be the vaccine provider trying to schedule an appointment. But know that there are scammers posing as vaccine providers. You should never have to pay to make a vaccine appointment. The vaccine is also free and most providers are waiving any administration fee.
Vaccine locations in Savannah
Here are the names, numbers and web sites of the providers who have received the vaccine and how to contact them if appropriate:
►J.C. Lewis Primary Care is offering both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at its location at 5 Mall Way. That’s the building that once housed a sporting goods shop and is next to the Live Oak Public Library in the back parking lot of the Oglethorpe Mall. Call 912-495-8887 to book an appointment or go online to www.jclewishealth.org
►The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is partnering with Gulfstream to host an ongoing mass drive-through vaccination effort, which will begin March 17 and run Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., providing upward of 1,100 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine per day on the Gulfstream campus at 2 Innovation Drive, Savannah. (Via I-95 exit 104) Pre-registration for the vaccine is available online at myvaccinegeorgia.com. Phone: 844-276-2906 TTY: 844-277-2830
►The chain pharmacies CVS and Walgreens have finished providing vaccines to long term care facilities and are now distributing vaccines at their retail stores. Check availability and book online at walgreens.com or cvs.com.
►Similarly, Walmart has multiple locations with vaccines available. Check availability and book on at bit.ly/walmartvaccine
- Its scheduler on Wednesday showed vaccine appointments available at four Savannah area locations:
- Pooler Supercenter #2860 160 Pooler Pkwy Pooler, GA 31322
- Savannah Walmart Supercenter #635 6000 Ogeechee Rd.
- Savannah Walmart Supercenter #4556 14030 Abercorn St.
- Savannah Walmart Supercenter #605 1955 E Montgomery Crossroad
►Hospice Savannah’s Community Partners Vaccine Clinic is located at the Gulfstream facility at 171 Crossroads Parkway, Savannah. Its next first-dose community clinics will be held on March 16, March 23, and March 26. Those appointments can be booked online at http://bit.ly/vaccineathospice. For those with no online access or great trouble accessing the Internet, Hospice Savannah has a help line available at 912-629-1053.
►Chatham County Health Department Main Clinic 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah. Chatham County Health Department – Annex Site (former EmployAbility building) 1249 Eisenhower Dr., Savannah
- Go to www.chdcovidvax.org to schedule an appointment for either location. The online appointment scheduling system will allow for scheduling first dose appointments only, up to eight days in advance. If you do not see any available appointments, check back the next day. Availability is only visible for the next 8 days.
- Health Department officials suggests that Georgia residents check counties other than their own for appointments if they’re willing and able to travel to the other county for a vaccine. All eight counties of the Coastal Health District are listed on the site above.
- Residents who don’t have access to a computer or the Internet can call the Vaccine Call Center at 912-230-5506 to schedule an appointment. The Vaccine Call Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Call volumes can be heavy, so be patient. The call center operator has the same online booking access as other users.
►Memorial Health is vaccinating members of the public at GenerationOne at 1100 Eisenhower Drive. Book an appointment online at http://bit.ly/vaccinememorial. There is no requirement to be a Memorial patient. Appointments open up intermittently. As of Thursday, Memorial was still developing its plans for vaccinating the 55 and under cohort and those 16 and older with serious medical conditions.
►St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System is calling its primary care patients to schedule appointments at a central location on Savannah’s south side. Patients who fit the new criteria will be called as they are identified.
►Nightingale Infusion is accepts registration via its web site at http://bit.ly/vaccinenightingale. “We will contact you when we are able to have you come to one of our locations for a COVID-19 vaccination,” the site indicates.
►SouthCoast Health updated its instructions on March 10. “We are currently scheduling patients on our waitlist for 1st Vaccination appointments on Saturday. If you are a SouthCoast Health patient and have not joined our waitlist, we encourage you to sign up. Please bear with us as there is more patient demand for the vaccine than we currently have available.” SouthCoast patients can join the waitlist at http://bit.ly/southcoastlist.
►Village Walk Pharmacy. COVID Vaccine Line at (912) 598-8669 directs patients to registration form available at https://villagewalkpharmacy.com/
►Publix: Vaccination appointments are scheduled online only. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or the Publix Pharmacy. At https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/georgia a county-by-county list of appointment availability indicated on March 10 that appointments at Chatham locations are “coming soon” meaning they “will have appointment availability during the next booking opportunity.”
►Kroger. No Savannah Kroger location had vaccine available as of March 10. Check appointment availability online at bit.ly/krogervaccine.
►Lo Cost Pharmacy. COVID Vaccine information Line: (912) 352-0375, which instructs patients to fill out the form online for an appointment: https://locostpharmacy.com/ . That forms refers patients to Village Walk Pharmacy, which has no appointments available as of March 10.
►Apollo Pharmacy with locations in Savannah and Pooler, has posted a waitlist on its website https://apollorx.care/.
►BCG Medical Group Phone is 912.443.4200, press 5, which refers to the web site https://www.carebothealth.com/privia-bcg to sign up for the vaccine.
►Compounding Solutions of Savannah Phone is 912-629-0444, press 8 which refers callers online to register to be called back to make an appointment at https://www.compoundsavannah.com/
►Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care 106 E. Broad Street, Savannah, GA 31401 Phone is 912-527-1000. Appointments are reserved for its established patients.
Mary Landers is the environment and health reporter at the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at 912-655-8295. Twitter: @MaryLandersSMN