DPH Vaccination hotline has been overwhelmed based on the tremendous amount of messages from GriceConnect followers. Our readers are reporting long wait times and technical issues in getting a vaccine appointment scheduled at the hotline at 1-855-473-4374. We reached out to Katie Hadden, PIO for the Southeast District for GADPH who confirmed the issues.

Katie explained that the Georgia Department of Health (DPH) call center is currently receiving a very high volume of calls on the COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 1-855-473-4374. This was part of an anticipated surge as this is their initial offering of COVID-19 vaccine to those in the expanded definition of Phase 1A as of January 11. Before scheduling for COVID-19 vaccine began, DPH added additional staff to those available to receive calls in hopes to meet this anticipated demand for scheduling needs. 

Due to the increase in volume to the call center, they have some encountered technical difficulties. DPH is working quickly and diligently to resolve issues as they arise. If you have called and have been unable to get through to an agent, they request that you attempt to call again. DPH recognizes this may result in multiple attempts to get through as our queue is extensive at times, so they appreciate the diligence and patience of those who are calling.

DPH call center hours are 7:30 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Thursday, and 8 AM until 5 PM on Friday. They are open and available to receive calls during these listed hours. DPH knows that being unable to get through quickly is frustrating.

The entire DPH team are working hard to serve our communities. Please be patient. They are thrilled that the interest and demand is so high and are making plans to vaccinate as many people who meet the criteria as quickly as possible.

Southeast Health District Begins COVID-19 Vaccine Administration to Eligible Individuals

With much of our healthcare community having received their COVID-19 vaccine, the Southeast Health District will now begin scheduling vaccine appointments for those in the expanded definition of Phase 1A.

Effective January 11, Phase 1A is defined as healthcare workers in clinical settings, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, all law enforcement and fire personnel and adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable).

If you are eligible to receive your COVID-19 vaccination within this expanded group, please call 1-855-473-4374 to schedule an appointment.

DPH will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only at four mass vaccination clinics located at the health departments in the following counties: Appling, Bulloch, Coffee and Ware.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). States have the flexibility to tailor these recommendations based on their specific needs and available vaccine.

Dr. Rosemarie Parks, District Health Director Vaccinated

Leading the way in our public health workforce in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was Dr. Rosemarie D. Parks, District Health Director for the Southeast Health District.

Upon receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Parks stated, “I wanted to be vaccinated to protect myself and those around me who are at risk. This simple act can have such an impact on the health of individuals and those with whom they come into contact.”

When asked about any discomfort, Dr. Parks remarked, “It did not even hurt! It was like I blinked, and we were finished.” Her experience is much like others across our district who have had positive vaccine experiences.

Dr. Rosemarie D. Parks, District Health Director, Southeast Health District

Additional public health staff receiving their COVID-19 vaccine since December 23 include Derek Jones, Chief Operating Officer; Trevor Thomas, Infectious Disease Coordinator and Emergency Preparedness Director; Cindi Hart, District Nursing Director; Kay Davis, Assistant Clinical Coordinator and Immunization Coordinator; and Pam Carter, Women’s Health Coordinator and WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator, among additional district and county staff.

The majority of our healthcare community and providers have also been vaccinated across our sixteen-county health district, and this effort is continuing as those in this expanded definition will have the opportunity to be vaccinated as well.

COVID-19 vaccine information will continue to be communicated through various avenues, including additional state and local press releases, the Georgia Department of Public Health website (dph.ga.gov), our Southeast Health District Facebook page, our county-specific Facebook pages and our Southeast Health District website (www.sehdph.org).

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...