WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — More COVID-19 vaccines are arriving in Central Georgia daily as cases climb around the state. But where can you get those vaccines?
We've reported on the Georgia Department of Public Health distributing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to places like hospitals, urgent cares, and nursing homes, but what about small pharmacies? We set out to verify.
According to a list published on the Georgia Department of Public Health's website, roughly 100 providers in Central Georgia have already received shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those at least 15 are small pharmacies. The Georgia Department of Public Health also lists several locations of pharmacies in grocery store chains, like Publix and Kroger, receiving the vaccine.
We verified small pharmacies have been receiving vaccines. However, many of those already have full waitlists.
At Medicine Stop in Warner Robins, phones were ringing off the hook Wednesday. The majority of people are calling to see if they can get their names on the now full wait list.
Dhara Patel runs the Medicine Stop in Warner Robins. Patel says they received their first shipment right before Christmas.
"We started with the long-term care facilities the last week of December, and since, we've gotten more information and started with healthcare workers," Patel said.
Patel says she started filling out paperwork in October and was shocked to see her pharmacy would be receiving the vaccines.
"As soon as I would get emails, I would fill it out and send it back. I don't know what it was," Patel said.
Since their first shipment, Patel says they've received two other shipments of 200 vaccines and then 500 vaccines--some of those reserved for people's second dose.
Starting this past Monday, they began vaccinating people 65 and older. But now, they have had to stop taking names for the waitlist.
"We don't know what we get until they send it to us. We can only make appointments for what comes in," Patel said. "Just be patient with us, we are not doing anymore with the waitlist because it's taking everything for us just to answer the phones."
Again, Patel and other pharmacy owners 13 WMAZ spoke with say they are stressing for people to have patience.