FEMA to open mass vaccination site at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium

It could soon be a little easier to find the COVID-19 vaccine in Atlanta.

Friday, the White House announced FEMA is partnering with Georgia to launch a FEMA-supported Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown Atlanta.

The site is currently being used by the Fulton County Health Department as a mass vaccination site.

The FEMA-led operation, which will scale up in the next two weeks, will be able to vaccinate about 6,000 people a day and up to 42,000 a week.

It will be open 7 days a week for 8 weeks.

The President’s COVID-19 advisors say the vaccine will be shipped directly to the Mercedes-Benz site and will be in addition to the current allotment the state receives.

White House COVID-19 advisor Andy Slavitt says FEMA will be working with state and local officials to help people without transportation get to and from the site.

Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are also offering free rides to and from vaccination sites.

"This is, as we all know now, an occupational disease and a disease of living conditions," Andy Slavitt says.  "So, cannot just allow just a system where we generally throw out vaccine supply and let whoever comes to get it get it, we have to make these focused efforts."

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz Stadium to become federal COVID-19 vaccination site

After a 6-week drop in US COVID-19 infections, the CDC says new US cases and hospitalizations have plateaued at a for more than a week, leaving the door open for another surge in infections.

"That plateau is about 60,000 to 70,000 cases a day, when you have that much viral activity in a plateau, it almost invariably means you are at risk for another spike," Dr. Anthony Fauci says.

To try to head off a potential spring surge driven by new, more transmissible virus strains of the virus, Dr Fauci is urging Americans to double down on their safety precautions, such as wearing masks, avoiding crowds, staying 6 feet apart from others in public and washing their hands.

And, he's urging people to get vaccinated when it is their turn.

He says all 3 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, so he is encouraging people not to try to seek out a particular brand of vaccine.

"People want to get vaccinated," Dr. Fauci says.  "And, you will go to a place that will have the vaccine.  Almost all will have one or the other, I would just take the vaccine that is most readily available to you."

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