tv Georgia Gov. Kemp Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN December 31, 2020 12:14pm-12:45pm EST
an object of on tuesday, the balance of power in the senate will be decided by the winners of two georgia runoffs. david purdue and kelly leffler are defending their seats in the gop control of the chamber. the democratic challengers are jon ossoff and raphael warnock. follow the results and hear from the candidates in these final races of campaign 2020. live coverage on c-span, c-span.org, and the free c-span radio app. announcer: earlier today, georgia governor bryan camp briefed reporters on distribution of the covid-19 -- brian kemp briefed reporters on the distribution of the covid-19 -- heldnd talked about in atlanta, this is half an hour.
kemp: good morning, everyone, and happy new year's eve. i want to thank dr. toomey for being with us today and thank her and her team as well and many others for all they are doing every day. we wanted to give you a quick update this morning on the vaccine administration and planning for the holiday weekend. as you all know, earlier this week we rolled out the covid-19 vaccine in our nursing homes as well as our long-term care facilities. thank you for the incredible with the private sector and great partners like cvs and walgreens. that is a key step in our fight to end the virus in georgia, and i want to express my deep gratitude to the public health workers at long-term care facility staff who have rolled up their sleeves in the last few days to get the vaccine. fema director chris
stalling said i toured the long-term care facility that has stood back up to the georgia world conference center. that facility will begin accepting patients at the end of be withk, and that will an additional 60 beds coming online that will help ensure that our hospitals continue to have the capacity that they need to care for both covid and non-covid patients. i and the rest of my team remain in constant contact with hospital ceos throughout the state, and all of them have expressed a lot of hope and excitement with the rollout of the pfizer and the moderna vaccine in their facilities. like them, dr. toomey, myself, and our teams are all eager to get the vaccine to as many people as possible. with that said, last night we made an announcement on expanding plans for vaccine administration for phase 1a
these next couple of weeks, provided the state receives inquate vaccine allotments, the next two weeks we hope to criteria to include police, firefighters command over the age of 65. dr. toomey can speak more to the specifics, but this step will allow us to target the limited supply of the vaccine we have to those who would benefit from it the most. while we wait for additional guidance from cdc and operation warp speed on the phases for the rollout. meeting, as i mentioned yesterday, with cdc leadership, and one of the key topics that we discussed was strategic deployment of antibody drugs and outpatient infusion centers to reduce hospitalizations. these drugs have shown -- have
been able -- have been shown to reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70%, and are designed to be administered just after the high-risk individual develops symptoms or tests positive to limit the progression of the virus. in the coming days, we will be working with our partners at public health, our nursing homes, federally qualified health centers and hospitals to build a network of outpatient infusion centers. we will continue working around the clock to ensure that georgians have access to quality care, these treatments, and the vaccines under the parameters of phase ia. byanted to end tonight talking about new year's eve. i have been clear with the people of georgia this week, the virus is still here and presents as big a threat as ever. we did all georgians to continue to act responsibly in the best
interest of their loved ones and fellow citizens to limit the spread over the holiday weekend. limit your gatherings to small groups of people within the same household. consider gathering virtually to watch the ball drop tonight, avoid including elderly loved ones or those who are more susceptible to the virus, and please consider the risks of going out for new year's eve tonight or through the weekend. would do go out, i encourage you to avoid going home these next few weeks to prevent the spread of the virus to other loved ones or other individuals that would be more at risk. as i mentioned yesterday, the largest percentage of cases that we are seeing in the state are coming from 18 to 29-year-olds. they have not been hit hard in most cases by this virus, but if they infect others, that is where we see problems and the risk of someone being in the hospital or worse. our guidance on limits to bar
capacity and gathering size remain in effect. as i said yesterday as well, they can be enforced by any local or state law enforcement. we are each responsible to our fellow georgians to stop the spread of covid-19 while we administer the vaccines safely and efficiently. if the people of georgia will hunker down for a little bit longer, stay vigilant, and do the things we have been talking about, wearing a mask, washing your hands, socially distancing themselves and following the health guidance and our executive orders, we can all have a safe, happy new year and look ahead to the continued miraculous rollout of this unbelievable vaccine and the rest of 2021. i want to thank everyone for being here today, thank those .or following the guidance
be safe tonight and throughout the weekend. god bless, and i will turn it over to dr. toomey. dr. toomey: thank you so much. i wanted to talk a little bit more about what we are doing and how we are doing this and why we are doing this. i think the data are very clear. 65 and older are at a high risk for complications of covid, high risk of complications such as hospitalization, but also deaths from covid. it really makes sense for us to move into this additional forgory to offer vaccines such vulnerable individuals at a time when, sadly, we are not of thatthe uptick scenes by health-care workers all over the state. by contrast here, there is still a waiting list of hundreds of health care workers waiting to get vaccinated.
but in many parts of rural georgia, both in the north and the south, there are vaccines available in literally -- and literally sitting in freezers. that is unacceptable. we have lives to save, so we decided in conjunction with governor kemp, and paired with our health directors statewide, that we would move forward because it will save lives even as we continue to vaccinate health care workers who are putting themselves at risk, as well as police, fire, and other law enforcement, who also often are at the first responding at the scene, are at risk. trying to fill the gaps and ensuring that all the health care workers in metro want to be vaccinated can be vaccinated as we are setting up a series of clinics. we envision a number of
drive-thru mass vaccination clinics, where multiple people can be vaccinated at the same time, potentially a partnership with some of our university be able, and we we'll to do thousands of people within a day rather than just hundreds in a clinic. so we expect to do that in the week or two ahead. confidently begin to make appointments for individuals over age 65. we have on our website the andcity to click on a link be able to make an appointment for the vaccine, and for health care workers as well. so expect to see that, and lots of public information coming out about those clinics here, as well as in rural areas. i suspect that already many
providers are beginning to offer vaccines because they have it in their freezers. and we will continue to roll that out very aggressively as we get the vaccine. there are two things i want to point out again. lee's be patient. we don't have as much -- please be patient. we don't have as much vaccines as we have the need for vaccines, and we will have to make appointments so we can literally match the number of vaccine doses to the number of people who can come that day rather than have a situation where there are many people waiting and we don't have enough vaccine available. i think the other thing is we hope that we can address some of the concerns people have about the vaccine. i was relieved when the vaccine became available here in georgia because it is going to be our tool to end this pandemic here. but that is only going to happen
if at least 80% of georgians are willing to take that vaccine because that is how many people are required within a given area to have what is called herd immunity or sufficient immunity to prevent community spread. at the time we are seeing the highest community spread we have ever had during this pandemic, it is more important to recognize that this is lifesaving and can stop the pandemic and get back to normal life. we are anticipating this rollout in the next several weeks, but even more quickly in the rural areas where there is vaccine available, following up with health care providers in metro. then we will rollout into other sure tod will be very have a lot of information, a lot a lot of public communication -- getting additional
vaccine. we want to make sure we have enough vaccine for everybody we are offering it to. channel isunications particularly important. the other thing is that we have over 1000 providers that have signed up to be providers that also currently have the vaccine. now with that -- now that we have a moved into an additional category with phase one, we will see it offered in offices, which will be an additional place that the public , in particular older individuals, can go to be vaccinated. do active outreach to additional providers to ensure that all of those enrolled can get their orders in but also others around the state who may not have signed up, to encourage them to do so, that we truly have the state covered with vaccines.
way,nk this is a fabulous a happy day, to end 2020 with an announcement of the potential to save many lives in georgia, even in the next several weeks. i really appreciate you being for and i am just grateful your support moving forward. thank you so much. all right, any questions? yes. inaudible]n dr. toomeyi will let speak more to that. she probably has more later data, as we say, sometimes on that. that is what is so interesting about the scenario that we are in right now. i want georgians to know that we are going to be -- i said when
we started the vaccine rollout that it was going to be a methodical process, and that we knew that we would hit situations where you do not know how this is going to go. that is the problem we have right now. we have more people who want to get vaccinated in the metro areas that we have vaccines, and it is completely the reverse of that in rural georgia. the demand is not there from the people who want to get it, but the vaccine is there. that is why we are changing. we talked with dr. redfield yesterday about this, this cd c guidance is exactly that, it is guidance. we are dealing with the georgia scenario. we agree that if there is a vaccine sitting in a freezer somewhere, that is not what we want. we want somebody to be getting it. that is why we are expanding the criteria. from all indications that i know, we are going to continue
to receive shipments of the vaccine and we are going to do everything in our power to get it administered as quickly as we can to the people that need it in an orderly fashion. toill let dr. toomey speak the amounts. hey, i wear my mask. in metro atlanta, we are actively vaccinating now. itis not a lack of vaccines, is just having the capacity to vaccinate the number of people who want it, which is a good thing that there are health-care workers here who want to be vaccinated. that is why yesterday when we ,et with metrohealth directors we felt that the best way to address that was to have a vaccine clinic. several of them probably throughout the metro area, not just in atlanta but in a number
they are working together now on that. i expect we may see it as early as next week. we must ensure we have enough vaccine. but right now, we are vaccinating. i know that many of the public health districts are having vaccination clinics this weekend after new year's. so that will continue. it isn't that we are not vaccinating. we are. but the priority will be to get the hairs care workers -- the health-care workers, but we will quickly move into the other phase of vaccinating, particularly the 65 and older, which is of great concern to all of us in public health.
>> [inaudible] toomey: the allocation of the vaccine that has come in, distribution is where it has it is a little more complicated to get it from the box into people's arms because of the logistics of how we do that. that is why it is so important for us to have appointments. in otherews report states where they have people waiting overnight for vaccines. that is just unacceptable. we have to make sure we have the vaccine available, but that it is easy for people to come in and get that service, just as it was for individuals to get the covid test at our test sites. so we are trying to aim for that same customer service, as well about the everyone safety and agassi -- and
efficacy of this vaccine. is there anything -- if there is anything you all can do to help us, please help us get that message out. i have looked at the data. i have looked at how the vaccines are developed. nobody cut corners. they were able to do it in a record amount of time that surprised many of us in the public health field. but it wasn't because any safety .easures were cut the paperwork and the toeaucracy was streamlined be able to make it fast because it is needed fast. i hope that is other people could vaccinated, as people's mothers get vaccinated, that they will be willing to get vaccinated as well. >> [inaudible]
dr. toomey: there's a couple of issues. ,ne is the vaccines delivered it is always a day or two behind because we only know what people have entered into the vaccine reporting system. so we know we have delivered more vaccines into people's arms then we actually have reported because we are dependent on people, providers, whether public health providers, private sector providers reporting that. that is true statewide. dr. redfield has even talked about with me -- about that was me. there is always going to be a delay in reporting, so it looks like we haven't done our job, but in fact we have. it just takes a while to have the numbers catch up with where we are. the other thing i think as we get more providers on board with vaccines, we will be able to actually increase that considerably.
so i am not worried about that. this is something you are seeing in virtually every state, and part of that lag is just reporting, and part of it is being able to set up the clinic and ensure the appointments, the people can get in and not be waiting, as happened yesterday in sister states. >> [inaudible] dr. toomey: we talked about that. we actually talked about that. one of the decision points was we need to vaccine and want to begin to expand vaccinations to older individuals who are at high risk.
with individuals, along the long-term care facility residents, are the highest risk of death and comp locations. begin -- and complications. why not just begin and become very aggressive here in metro to reach those other populations? and we can do that. we have sufficient vaccine on board now, and we will expect shipments. so with these mass clinics in partnership with university partners, we will be able to move quickly and also move into the additional risk groups as well. and transporting vaccine also isn't that easy. remember, there's a cold chain you have to follow. the worst thing that could
you break the cold chain. that would be a true tragedy. the team just told me we got 120,000 doses this week. we don't know what we will get next week, but you have to assume the supply chain is going timeep coming, so by the we try to do all the logistical things to move the vaccine around, we will have new vaccines. we are better off just getting that vaccine to people on the , in the next couple of days versus trying to move it and it be five or six more days, and then we have other vaccine coming in. that is part of where our team is working on now. to looklso continuing at the logistics, so we are getting a vaccine where the need is. this whole plan that we have, we are going to change it weekly if we need to to get the vaccine
where the demand is and where we need it to protect the most vulnerable, to try to give some relief to our hospitals, and that is our commitment to continue to do that. >> [inaudible] d want to speak to that, dr. toomey -- do you want to speak to that, dr. toomey? dr. toomey: this is really unusual situation in that the cdc works with either mckesson for moderna, or pfizer ships sites,y to our vaccine whether it is a hospital or private provider or public health clinic. we do have some being shipped just to have a backup in case there is a shortage at our storage sites that hold the stockpile. are handledistics
through operation warp speed. when you transfer from one provider to another, we would engage the state perp troll -- the state patrol or our local ability to move. that may happen more and more as we move further down the road, as providers only need a few doses rather than 100 or 975 a box oft are in pfizer. so much of the logistics of the movement comes directly through the cdc process, but then the local transport, when that would happen would be through either our immunization program or likely state patrol. gov. kemp: i will just add a couple of points there. one, i think a good example of this, we were at a nursing home facility monday doing the vaccine at that facility to their health care workers.
there was another facility similar to that when in gainesville that didn't get the allotment monday, but i found out they got it tuesday and were overjoyed. so they didn't have the vaccine monday, but it got to them tuesday, and the immediately started inoculated and their staff and residents. i would just tell people that in the days to come, as this plan continues to broaden out to the general public, we will use every resource that i have available to make, whether it is law enforcement, other agencies we've had at our disposal, just like when we shipped, if we need to fly a ventilator to a hospital, we did it. if we need to fly surgical gowns, masks, ppe to medical facilities early in the pandemic, we did it. we used the national guard in a , testing sites. they are still working at our
food banks. we will use every available resource to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible to help be part of the existing logistics network that we already have with what operation warp speed has set up and where the vaccine is going, and we will continue to do that as this broadens out to the general public. >> [inaudible] gov. kemp: well, we are continuing, and have been for probably almost two weeks now, looking at additional bed supplied to be prepared for whatever is coming our way. it is so hard to predict when this peak will end and we start going the other direction. we can't just hope for that. we've got to plan for the worst and hope for the best, so we are currently digging into a lot of different options there. i will say that there's a lot of different places that we could do that, including outside of
the metro atlanta area to help some of our more rural hospitals. the big issue we have, and every state has, is staff. that is in short supply right now, so we are continuing to try to work through how we deal with that which is one reason we are going to be pressing forward with these infusion centers because if we can cut down on the number of these vulnerable patients that may end up in the hospital by getting them these antibody drugs before they get real sick, that will help us a lot. in getting people vaccinated, getting our citizens to follow the guidance and the guidelines to help, we are at a critical point, and we have been at critical points in the past. but we've got to all hunker down and do the right thing, and stop the spread, flatten the curve. thank you, everyone. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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