The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a number of incredible controversies during its relatively short time here in the United States, and even a year into this mess we’re still finding new ways to argue over it.
First and foremost, there is the argument over whether or not the government has the right to tell American citizens that they have to wear a mask.
But there’s there is the other, even weightier argument over potential COVID vaccines: Whether or not they’re safe, whether or not they should be mandatory, and who should be getting them in what order.
It’s that last point of contention that has one rural Georgia health clinic in trouble with the authorities.
ELBERTON, Ga. — This small city was still in shock Friday, days after state health workers raided the busiest medical clinic in the county and seized its Covid-19 vaccine supply because staffers had given doses to teachers.
Some 470 shots of the Pfizer vaccine were confiscated from the Medical Center of Elberton, a private clinic that had been the largest provider of vaccinations in Elbert County, leaving behind just enough medicine to guarantee second doses to people who have already been inoculated.
“Everything that we had tried to do up until now to vaccinate our county was just laid to waste,” Dr. Jonathan Poon, who works at the clinic, told NBC News.
And here’s where it gets even crazier:
In addition, the Georgia Department of Public Health said it would not be providing any more vaccines to the medical center for the next six months until July 27.
“DPH took the action after learning the provider had been vaccinating individuals in the Elbert County School District who were outside of the current Phase 1A+ eligible population,” the agency said in a statement. “There is no other reason for the suspension than what we have previously stated.”
But in a Jan. 29 letter to the center, the department gave no warning it was going to seize the remaining shots Tuesday.
The news is but one such symptom of a horrifically ineffective rollout for the multiple COVID vaccines that have come to market in recent months.