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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Dalton State College nursing student Mary Peden fills a syringe with vaccine at the Murray County Rec Department in Chatsworth on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

Whitfield County is among Georgia's leaders in vaccine distribution, according to a new data dashboard from the Georgia Department of Public Health that went live this week.

The dashboard was launched Monday after weeks of the state not having county-specific data. It fills an information void at a time when vaccine supply is varied across the state and even in Northwest Georgia.

Last week, public health officials with the Northwest Health District told the Times Free Press the state was working on getting a data dashboard set up and running that would show a clearer picture of how many people were getting the vaccine in each county. Previously, the health district only had the total number of vaccines for all 10 counties combined.

Similar to how the state's COVID-19 dashboard is managed, the vaccine dashboard will be updated every day at 3 p.m.

Aside from publishing county-specific vaccine numbers, the dashboard has the total number of vaccines delivered to Georgia from the federal government, the percent of vaccines shipped that have been administered and the number of vaccines administered broken down by race and ethnicity at a state level. However, those numbers are not yet available at the county level.

Logan Boss, spokesperson for the Northwest Georgia Health District, said in an email this week the health district most likely will generate a monthly county-specific report that has a race and ethnicity breakdown but "will have limitations."

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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Dalton State College nursing student Keshawn Taylor gives a COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Murray County Rec Department in Chatsworth on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

In Northwest Georgia, that kind of information is most prevalent in Whitfield County, where more than a third of the population identifies as Hispanic.

In the Chattanooga region, the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign is improving as supplies are steadily increasing. Lines are moving faster, and more doses are going into arms. Despite some of the improvements, confusion and demand that far exceeds supply haven't waned.

Although each state has a vaccination plan, that information changes regularly, and in Georgia's case the information seems to be catching up to the public's desire for it.

Statewide, Georgia has administered more than 15,500 vaccines per 100,000 residents. That includes 10,777 first doses and about 4,400 second doses per 100,000 residents.

In Northwest Georgia, the seven counties in the Times Free Press' coverage area show an average of 16,065 doses per 100,000 residents, just over the state average.

Whitfield County is administering by far the most vaccines with 29,200 per 100,000 residents. That figure doesn't include the thousands of doses administered at the Dalton Convention Center through the partnership with the city and county.

Dade County also is administering well above state averages at 20,028 doses per 100,000.

Walker County has by far the lowest administration rate at 8,060 doses per 100,000 residents.

Murray County (11,746), Catoosa County (13,185) and Gordon County (14,093) are all below the state average, while Chattooga County (16,145) is slightly above it.

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the state will set up four mass vaccinations sites to help with demand in the metro Atlanta area and in Albany, Clarkesville and Macon.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

 

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