Sandy Springs preparing vaccination sites

Sandy Springs has a plan for COVID-19 vaccination sites, administering the medicine and storage. Spokesperson Sharon Kraun said temperature-controlled storage facilities for the vaccines would be ready to receive delivery if the city gets a call from state or Fulton County officials.

Setting up vaccination sites are part of a disaster preparedness plan that the city has spent years re-tooling and evolving, Kraun said. Sandy Springs officials informed Fulton County and the state in February, before the full onset of the pandemic, that the city was interested in setting up vaccine sites.

“Once we heard the word ‘pandemic’ we said, ‘If there is a vaccine what do we need to be doing,” Kraun said. “If the state asked us tomorrow to stand-up a point of dispensing and help (administer the vaccine) we could do it.”

COVID-19 vaccines are expected from at least two companies Moderna and Pfizer Inc. Each company’s medicine requires different levels of temperatures for storage. Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored in ultra-cold temperatures whereas Moderna’s will remain effective in a refrigerator up to 30 days, according to the company.

Kraun said it’s not definite that state or county officials will call on Sandy Springs for help and she didn’t confirm where vaccination sites would be located if they do. The spokeswoman said locations used for mobile testing for COVID-19 could be ideal for dispensing vaccines.

Ideal locations would be able to handle large numbers of people that could move through the site quickly. she said. “It depends on the vaccine and what is needed to maintain it,” Kraun said. “We just need to wait and see what the state tells us. We are ready to meet whatever the needs are.”