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VERIFY: No, Macon's mass vaccination site is not taking doses away from the health department

The North Central Health District is still waiting for their latest vaccine shipment. Meanwhile, GEMA's site has enough for 1,080 vaccinations per day

MACON, Ga. — The state opened its Macon mass vaccination site this week, giving more than 1,000 shots per day.

Meanwhile, the North Central Health District is working to reschedule vaccination appointments because of delayed shipments.

That has some of you asking, "Why?"

Is the mass vaccination site taking doses away from the health department?

We spoke to Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District and Lisa Rodriguez-Presley from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to verify.

The short answer is no.

"Our vaccine shipment is in no way impacted by GEMA's vaccine sites," says Hokanson.

He says they're still waiting on their shipment that was delayed last week and have had to reschedule a couple hundred appointments.

"We're hoping to get more doses. Obviously, this is a very tough time since we didn't receive any delivery last week because of the storms and this week it's still very sparse," he says. "It's a little difficult to say how much we'll be getting, simply because some of the deliveries are actually not vaccine itself, but just the supplies that are needed to give the vaccine."

He says they sometimes don't know what they're getting until it actually arrives.

Hokanson says if they need to reschedule your appointment, they will let you know.

Lisa Rodriguez-Presley with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency says it all has to do with how the storms affected each vaccine distribution center. The North Central Health District is administering Moderna vaccines, while emergency management is using Pfizer.

"With the storms in the Midwest, I know there was some supply disruption with the Moderna vaccines, but not so much with the Pfizer. So, since we have the Pfizer vaccine, that's why we haven't seen a disruption."

She says their operations are completely separate.

"Our efforts are designed to supplement what they are already doing."

Hokanson says this new site on Eisenhower Parkway is taking some of the burden off of them.

"That's definitely going to take some of the weight off our shoulders. It's going to take the weight off the shoulders of all these smaller providers in the community that are really, to be honest, it's really a struggle to deal with the high demand," he says. "It's not something that the infrastructure was in place for and it's not something that we've really been able to meet the demand with, whether it's A) not having the vaccine supply or B) not having the manpower."

So, we can verify that no, the mass vaccination site is not taking doses away from health departments.

It all has to do with the types of vaccines they are using and how their routes were affected by the winter storm.

It's also important to note, as we've verified before, the CDC recommends that you avoid mixing and matching your vaccine doses because there is no evidence on how effective one dose of Pfizer and one dose of Moderna will be.

RELATED: VERIFY: Yes, your second COVID-19 vaccine dose should be the same brand as your first

To schedule an appointment at the mass vaccination site, you can visit https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/

The North Central Health District is not taking any new appointments now, but when they do have enough vaccines to open their phone lines again, you can call 1-844-987-0099 or 478-749-0179.