Phoebe Putney Health System

09/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/23/2021 12:56

Phoebe Prepares for COVID-19 Boosters And Asks for Volunteers

Albany, GA | Sept. 23, 2021 - Phoebe is making plans to reopen mass vaccination sites once it receives clear direction from the federal government on how and when it can begin offering COVID-19 booster shots. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved allowing third doses of the Pfizer vaccine to those 65 and older, individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19, healthcare workers and other workers at higher risk for occupational exposure six months after they received their second dose. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must weigh in and provide further guidance.

"We're waiting for instructions from the federal government, but we want to have our plan in place and be ready to start inoculating those who are eligible for a booster as soon as we get the go-ahead," said Phoebe Vice President of Operations Will Peterson who oversees the health system's vaccination efforts.

Phoebe is also asking for volunteers to help with its community COVID-19 booster effort. "The Phoebe Family has been surrounded by amazing support and encouragement by the communities we call home, throughout the pandemic. That support has meant the world to us, and now we need our community's help again," said Phoebe Director of Volunteer Services Suzanne Perrine.

Active or retired healthcare workers can volunteer to serve as inoculators, while other volunteers could offer non-clinical logistical support. "We have already been in contact with retired nurses and physicians who are interested in helping us administer vaccinations, and we certainly have room for others to join that effort. We'll also need volunteers to help with everything from greeting people at the front door to offering them juice or a snack after they get their shot. There's really something for anyone to do," Perrine said.

Phoebe plans to open mass booster shot sites in Albany, Americus and Sylvester for a limited time when demand is expected to be high. "Our teams did an amazing job of operating mass vaccination sites from January through May of this year. We got so many comments from the public about how efficiently we ran those sites. Once we're able to provide boosters, the format and process will be very similar, but our resources are still stretched thin as we respond to this latest COVID surge. We think volunteering for this lifesaving effort is a great way for folks to serve their community," Peterson said.

Anyone interested in serving as a booster site volunteer must fill out this online registration form. Once the schedules for the mass vaccination sites are set, Phoebe will contact each volunteer to schedule their shifts.

Phoebe will communicate the locations and hours of operation of the booster sites, as well as who is eligible and how they can schedule booster appointments, once the CDC issues its final guidance.