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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2021

Georgia National Guard provides support to vaccination sites

By Capt. Bryant Wine

The Georgia National Guard began a new assignment on Feb. 22, 2021, as the COVID-19 response effort continues.

Today, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) opened four mass vaccination sites in Albany, Clarkesville, Hapeville and Macon.

Over 130 Georgia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are providing support to these sites under GEMA and DPH supervision.

“Georgia Guardsmen are assisting GEMA in every way we can,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Wes Borre, an officer in charge of Georgia National Guard personnel at one of the four vaccination sites. “If a task makes the process more efficient for the medical staff, then Guardsmen are lending a hand.”

Assigned tasks at these vaccination sites include security, traffic support, on-site logistics, command post operations and administrative support. These tasks could expand or contract throughout the duration of the mission.

The vaccination sites currently operate Monday through Friday. The duration of the Georgia National Guard’s support to these sites remains indefinite.

“We are absolutely prepared to continue this support as long as there is demand for the vaccine,” said Borre. “The Guardsmen here are in good spirits.”

The partnership between GEMA, DPH and the Georgia National Guard exemplifies the continued whole-of-state approach the agencies have pursued in combatting COVID-19 since March 2020.

The Georgia National Guard is capable of accomplishing bureaucratic tasks, like traffic and administrative support, on behalf of civilian healthcare professionals. This way, the civilian healthcare professionals can focus on treating patients, not maintaining paperwork.

The Georgia National Guard is no stranger in partnering with state and federal agencies. Along with the proven relationship with GEMA and DPH since the onset of COVID-19, the Georgia National Guard most recently supported the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

“Our GEMA coordinator and the other GEMA staff here have been terrific,” said Borre. “We are working as one team to serve Georgians and put an end to this pandemic.”

COVID-19 vaccines are only available to Georgia citizens eligible in Phase 1A. This includes people over 65 years old and their caregivers, healthcare workers, law enforcement and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

Eligible patrons must register ahead of time and have an appointment any of the four vaccination sites. The vaccine portal can be accessed at or call 1-844-275-3428.