Healthy people, families, and communities.


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County Health Department Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics Begin in September!
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NORTH GEORGIA – Safe, convenient, and protective, Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics will roll out again in North Georgia, starting in September!

The Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics, conducted by county health departments in the North Georgia Health District, are for people ages 18 and older and will allow residents to stay safely in their vehicles while health department staff wear COVID-19 protective gear to administer flu vaccinations. Clients driving through will also be required to wear a mask.

The Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics are scheduled, as follows:

FDA Covid 19 Vax Approval Banner

Approval Signifies Key Achievement for Public Health
For Immediate Release: August 23, 2021

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 



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North GA – North Georgia Health District officials announced that public health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield counties will provide a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to certain patients with weakened immune systems.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine at least 28 days after completion of the initial two doses. This recommendation does not include Johnson and Johnson vaccine recipients.

Eligible immunocompromising conditions for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine include:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of a solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory

Eligible patients must request a third dose of the vaccine, and to receive it, they may either provide documentation from their physician or self-attest to one of the medical conditions above by signing a consent form.

The vaccine is free, and no appointment is needed to receive COVID-19 vaccine at the county health departments in the North Georgia Health District; however, an appointment may be arranged, if desired, by calling ahead. Phone numbers and addresses for county health departments in North Georgia are available here on our home page.



Joint Statement from HHS Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

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Today, public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the following statement on the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for the American people.

The statement is attributable to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General; Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID); Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health; Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer for the COVID-19 Response; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Chair of the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force:

“The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States continue to be remarkably effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. Recognizing that many vaccines are associated with a reduction in protection over time, and acknowledging that additional vaccine doses could be needed to provide long lasting protection, we have been analyzing the scientific data closely from the United States and around the world to understand how long this protection will last and how we might maximize this protection. The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout. For that reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability.

Site Change for MAKO Med in Ellijay Graphic

UPDATE for FREE Testing In Ellijay: Site is Moving as of Monday, Aug. 30th 

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Ellijay, GA – Since MAKO Medical began Free COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing at the Gilmer County Health Department on August 18th, hundreds of residents have received testing at the new site. Now, to better facilitate testing, the site will move from the health department to a new location and the hours of operation will slightly change.

Please note the following updated MAKO Medical COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing site and hours of operation in Ellijay, as of Monday, August 30th:

Gilmer County Civic Center
1561 South Main Street
Ellijay, GA 30540
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 8 AM – 2 PM

This is PCR testing done by nasal swab to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. The operation in Ellijay is the third MAKO Medical testing site established in North Georgia through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health. The other two testing sites in North Georgia operated by MAKO are in Dalton and Canton.

Anyone who has COVID-19 type symptoms or has been in close contact recently with a person infected with the virus needs to be tested for COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated. There are no eligibility requirements other than having a Georgia address and registering online at (PLEASE REGISTER ONLINE AT THIS LINK FOR TESTING - ONLY USE THE PHONE NUMBER PROVIDED AT THE MAKO WEBSITE AS A LAST RESORT -- pre-registration is preferred, however, anyone who does not have access to the internet or is not able to navigate the online registration form can be registered by staff onsite at the MAKO Medical testing location).

Log on here to the North Georgia Health District website at for more information.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                      
Aug. 13, 2021                                                                                                 
ACIP Recommends Additional COVID Vaccine
for Immunocompromised Individuals


Atlanta – Following the FDA’s authorization of an additional COVID vaccine dose for immunocompromised individuals, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is now recommending that certain patients with weakened immune systems receive an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. The recommendation does not include J&J vaccine recipients at this time.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is awaiting guidance from the CDC that clearly defines what conditions make an individual eligible for an additional dose of vaccine. Once those conditions are known, DPH will establish statewide protocols for health departments administering additional doses of COVID vaccine. Until then, DPH will hold off on administering third doses.

Patients seeking additional doses of vaccine should contact their healthcare provider for guidance and recommendations.

For information about COVID vaccines or to schedule a vaccination appointment visit

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.


Nancy Nydam
Director of Communications
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree Street, N.E., 15th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
(404) 657-2462
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COVID19 Gift Cards Murray County web graphicFor Murray County Residents 18 years of age and older!

Starts Tuesday, August 10th!

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Chatsworth, GA – Murray County residents ages 18 and older who are still not protected with COVID-19 vaccine now have an extra incentive to Get Vaccinated! Starting Tuesday, August 10th,  they will be offered a Walmart $10 Gift Card for each dose of COVID-19 Vaccine received at the Murray County Health Department. For the single dose J&J vaccine, two $10 Gift Cards will be given while supplies last. Murray County Health Department is located at 709 Old Dalton-Ellijay Road in Chatsworth. NO Appointment is needed. WALK-INs are Welcome! Eligible Murray County residents are urged: Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community from COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading Delta variant. Get Vaccinated at the Murray County Health Department and receive that extra “Thank You” with Walmart $10 Gift Cards – accepted at all Walmart locations!

Log onto the North Georgia Health District website at for more information about COVID-19 as well as health department hours and services.

More than Ever You NEED COVID 19 Vaccine web banner

No Cost, No Appointment, No ID Required for COVID-19 Vaccine at County Health Depts in North GA!
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North GA – For the many eligible North Georgians who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, local public health officials urge you more fervently than ever to do so immediately.
COVID-19 cases in the North Georgia Health District were on the decline but have now increased significantly. Our counties, which include Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield, are experiencing moderate to substantial spread as emerging variants, especially the Delta variant, are proving to be more contagious and, in some cases, more serious than previous variants.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) recently announced that the CDC estimates the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID cases in Georgia as it spreads “more than twice as easily” from person to person, and the highest increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.
“This is a disease of the unvaccinated,” said Zachary Taylor, MD, MS, Interim Health Director for the North Georgia Health District. “Getting vaccinated will prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”
Your local county health department in the North Georgia Health District offers COVID-19 vaccine to Georgians 12 years of age and older, with Pfizer being the only COVID vaccine authorized for children ages 12 to 17. If receiving Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you will need to return for a second dose to be fully protected. Full protection is reached in an individual two weeks after the final dose. There is no cost for the vaccine. No appointment is needed at county health departments within the health district and no identification is required. Go to to find your county health department in North Georgia. Contacts for other COVID-19 vaccine providers in the area are available at