The city of Dalton and Whitfield County will operate a satellite drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site on Monday, Jan. 18. Vaccinations will be made by appointment only to Georgia residents 65 and older. There is no cost to Georgia residents.
The drive-through site will be set up at the Dalton Convention Center at 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road. The effort is being made in cooperation with the Whitfield County government and the State Department of Public Health’s North Georgia Health District.
The goal is to vaccinate 600 people at the convention center site. Vaccinations will begin at 10 a.m. by appointment only. A link will be posted on the city of Dalton’s Facebook page (facebook.com/CityOfDalton), Whitfield County’s Facebook page and www.daltonga.gov at 7 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, for people to sign up for appointments.
People without appointments will not be able to receive the vaccine Monday. However, if more than one person traveling to the site together in the same vehicle each have confirmed appointments but were unable to sign up for the same time of day, they can be served at the same time. Additional booking dates and times beyond Monday will be announced shortly based on demand and vaccine availability.
The vaccinations will be made by trained and certified paramedics from the Dalton Fire Department and also volunteer nurses from the community. Support including traffic control and logistical support will be provided by the Dalton Police Department, Dalton Fire Department and Whitfield County agencies.
“This satellite site came about as a result of (Dalton Public Safety Commission member) Dr. Luis Viamonte’s initiative to get the city of Dalton certified as an administrator for the vaccine once it becomes available to other groups,” said Dalton City Councilmember Annalee Harlan, who has been instrumental in planning for the site. “In collaboration with Dr. Zachary Taylor from the North Georgia Health District, we found the opportunity to set up a satellite site at the convention center.”
Councilmember Harlan said she was happy to be involved with planning the vaccination site because it was a tangible step in fighting back against the COVID-19 pandemic that has plagued the region for nearly a year.
“It’s nice to be on offense for once,” Harlan said. “I’m the liaison to the Public Safety Commission and also a licensed paramedic so you can say it was familiar territory for me.”
“I appreciate the hard work that Councilmember Harlan has done on this,” said Dalton Mayor David Pennington. “She’s done a truly marvelous job and her community thanks her. Our fire department has also done some incredible work to get this set up.”
“I saw that the (health department’s) phone lines and website were overwhelmed,” County Commission Chairman Jevin Jensen said when asked about Whitfield County’s participation in the project. “The health department started at 400 vaccinations a day and now they’re up to more than 600 a day, but there’s such a huge demand. The board of commissioners set a goal of over a thousand total vaccinations a day and approved funding to setup a second site, while partnering with the city to reach this goal. This is the only way we are going to beat this pandemic. Having the convention center, which is a joint facility the city and county share, it just made sense to select this as our second location.”