Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempAbrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Arbery murder trial set to begin this week Stacey Abrams to campaign for McAuliffe in Virginia MORE (R) said Tuesday that he will expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine to all people over the age of 16 living in the state, a policy that will go into effect Thursday and comes just a week after he eliminated special COVID-19 capacity limits for Georgia's bars and nightclubs.
Kemp announced the expanded vaccine access at a press conference, while reportedly adding that he would get vaccinated on Friday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
I was honored to join @GAFirstLady, Dr. Toomey, and Director Stallings today to announce that on this Thursday, all adults in Georgia over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit https://t.co/bem88O5m0H to learn more and schedule your appointment! pic.twitter.com/lMvf8pyDYF— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) March 23, 2021
“Confirm your spot in line as quickly as possible,” the governor reportedly said. “This is our ticket back to normal, and we’re getting closer to that point every day.”
The state has at least partially vaccinated 2.06 million people out of roughly 11 million total across the state, and another 1.1 million have received a second dose. Georgia's vaccination rate is ranked 45th in the nation, according to the Becker Hospital Review.
During his press conference Tuesday, Kemp reportedly warned of available vaccines not reaching Georgians in a timely fashion, while the Journal-Constitution reported that some state-run vaccination sites have reported low numbers of appointments being scheduled.
“We cannot afford to have vaccines sitting in the freezers, whether it’s in metro Atlanta or in rural Georgia,” the governor said, according to the Journal-Constitution.