FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                    

January 28, 2021                                                                                          


DPH Suspends Provider From COVID-19 Vaccination Program

Atlanta – On Jan. 27, 2021, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) notified The Medical Center of Elberton that it would be suspended from the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Georgia. The suspension became effective immediately for a term of six months, ending July 27, 2021. The suspension is for The Medical Center of Elberton only. Five other vaccine providers in Elbert County, including the Elbert County Health Department, will continue to receive vaccine.

Currently, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine is very limited. In order to address this limited supply and ensure that individuals who are most at risk of infection get the vaccine first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued recommendations about who should be prioritized to receive the vaccine. These recommendations were made at the federal level and initially included residents and staff of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers. The State of Georgia adopted the ACIP recommendations and then expanded them (Phase 1A+) to include law enforcement, fire personnel and individuals aged 65 and older.

All COVID-19 vaccine providers agree to vaccinate only individuals who fall into the designated priority groups. Again, this is to ensure that the limited supply is going to those who are most at risk. Every Georgian deserves protection from COVID-19, and healthcare providers around the state are working to make that a reality. Until more vaccine becomes available, it is critical that we protect the most vulnerable.

DPH is working with the Northeast Georgia Health District to increase the amount of vaccine to other providers in Elbert county to ensure the needs of residents are met. We recognize that residents of Elbert County and neighboring areas may be concerned

about reduced local availability of COVID-19 vaccines. The Elbert County Health Department intends to offer expanded COVID-19 vaccination services for eligible local residents. To make an appointment at the Elbert County Health Department, please visit:

DPH was notified January 26, 2021 that The Medical Center of Elberton vaccinated individuals in the Elbert County School District who were outside of the current Phase

1A+ eligible population. Following an investigation and a verification of vaccine administration through GRITS (Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services), the information received by DPH was deemed factual.

During the suspension, the facility is not eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine shipments. They may use remaining COVID-19 vaccine inventory for second dose administration to patients as applicable.

It is critical that DPH maintains the highest standards for vaccine accountability to ensure all federal and state requirements are adhered to by all parties, and vaccine is administered efficiently and equitably. As Georgia’s federal allocation of vaccine increases, DPH will be able to ship vaccine to additional providers statewide and expand vaccination eligibility to more Georgians, without limitations.

For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.

For information about COVID-19, visit or