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Kemp, health officials give updates on COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at the state Capitol on Dec. 31, 2020.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at the state Capitol on Dec. 31, 2020.(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 7:46 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and health officials held a press conference Thursday to discuss vaccination efforts for the future of the Peach State.

COVID-19 numbers in the state

There’s been a 70 percent decrease in new case numbers since last month, and hospitalizations are also down across the state.

The two-week test positivity rate has dipped below 10 percent, which is the lowest it has been since November.

However=, Kemp said that given reporting of COVID-19 related deaths still significantly lags, which causes us to see high death numbers.

Currently, 85 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been among people age 65 and older. That’s the reason the state has been focusing on vaccinating seniors

“This is a sobering statistic and it can serve as a reminder to us that this virus is still deadly and it still must be taken very seriously,” Kemp said in the presser.

All in all, the state still asks Georgians to follow public health guidance. While the trends of decline are good news, Kemp urges everyone to remain vigilant and says “we cannot let our guard down.”

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Moving onto vaccines

Today, Georgia has administered over 1,660,000 vaccines.

82 percent of all vaccines shipped to the state have been administered, including 718,026 seniors who have receieved at least the first dose.

Operation Warp Speed, the partnership with CVS and Walgreens locations in the state, has administered 101,000 doses in long-term care facilities across Georgia.

Health providers across the state continue to see higher demand than they can meet with the current supply, however, Kemp ensures that there are steady increases in the weekly allotment of doses sent out.

Progress overall has been good, which prompts the state to finalize plans for expanding vaccination criteria within the next two weeks.

The Department of Education has sent out a survey to every district across Georgia, asking school personnel to respond to basic questions, such as the number of employees who want to be vaccinated if eligible.

The survey received over 171,000 responses and showed only 45 percent of school personnel choose to be vaccinated. That is roughly 78,000 staff members across the state.

School districts were also asked if they have already identified a provider to partner with when vaccines become available. Kemp said many superintendents are still working on those issues.

Also starting Monday, four mass vaccine sites will open to help underserved areas in Albany, Macon, Habersham County and at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport.

Kemp then announced a new website is available where residents can make appointments for COVID-19 vaccination.

People who are not yet eligible are encouraged to pre-register ahead of time and they will be notified once they are eligible.

Click here to register for a COVID-19 vaccination: https://myvaccinegeorgia.com/

Watch the news conference

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