For Georgians able to find COVID-19 vaccine, relief and excitement

By late Monday morning, a long line of cars was snaking its way through DeKalb County Public Health Department's COVID-19 vaccine site set up in the BrandsMart parking off Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta.

It's one of two drive-thru sites the county hopes will vaccinate a combined 1,000 people a day.

For those waiting in their cars, like 69-year-old Debbie Kowal, there was a sense of relief, and excitement about receiving the first dose of the vaccine.

"I want to get back out in the world, and I want to make sure other people are protected from me," Kowal says.

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The DeKalb Board of Health, which had about 8,200 doses as of Friday, had to pause its online registration after more than 13,000 people registered to receive the vaccine in the first few hours the county's registration link went live Friday.

73-year-old John Thornton of Dunwoody was able to get through, while others were not.

"I was able to get in line Friday morning, I guess," Thornton says.  "When they turned it on, bingo. The link didn't show up right away.  I kept trying and it finally just appeared."

Linda Clark, who is 67, also got through and was able to snag an appointment.

The Georgia Department of Public Health launched a vaccine locator on its website Sunday,

The feature will allow you to find providers in your area, but it cannot be used to book an appointment.

Clark says she waited about 40 minutes in the drive-thru line for her first of two shots.

"I'm very excited," she says, "This is the beginning of something great so that we can get control of this virus."

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The DeKalb Board of Health's website says appointments for its two drive-thru sites are booked through Saturday, but it will reactivate the online form to register as it receives more vaccine. 

After their vaccinations, people were being told to wait 15 minutes in their vehicles, to make sure they did not have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

"I'm just glad to get it done," Thornton says.

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