Georgia teachers to be next in line in state for coronavirus vaccine

Georgia teachers to be next in line in state for coronavirus vaccine
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Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempSavannah becomes first major city in Georgia to reinstate masks On The Money: Senate braces for nasty debt ceiling fight | Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan deal | Housing prices hit new high in June Businesses contribute thousands to backers of Georgia election law after condemning it MORE (R) will announce on Thursday the beginning of a new coronavirus vaccination tier that will include teachers, a spokesperson said.

“Throughout vaccine distribution, the governor has prioritized protecting the most vulnerable and returning Georgians to normal,” Mallory Blount said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “Further details will be announced tomorrow.”

Kemp has not specified whether opening vaccinations to teachers would include college educators and preschool instructors, according to the AP.

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Current eligible categories of Georgians to get the vaccine include people 65 and older, front-line workers and long-term care facility staff. A Johnson & Johnson vaccine is awaiting emergency use approval from the FDA, and would be the third one available if and when it received clearance. So far, Georgia has administered more than 1.8 million doses, according to the AP, citing Department of Public Health Data.

The rollout has led some teachers to travel across state lines to Alabama and Tennessee, both of which have made vaccines available to teachers already, according to the AP.

The report comes about a month after the state announced it will suspend vaccine shipments to the Medical Center of Elberton after it gave teachers early access to the shot. The suspension is effective through July 27.

“I’m pretty pissed about it because we are a tight-knit community. ... Our community is relying on us to vaccinate them, and our state has decided, during a pandemic, to suspend our privileges,” Brooke McDowell, an administrator at the east Georgia hospital, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in January.

A survey from the Pew Research Center released Wednesday found 59 percent of adults want to wait until teachers are vaccinated to fully reopen K-12 schools. The figure includes 80 percent of Black adults, 69 percent of Hispanic adults and 72 percent of Asian American adults.