COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia: All adults eligible starting Thursday, governor says

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all Georgians over 16 years old beginning Thursday. 

"We will continue to shift does to the areas of highest demand," Kemp said. 

Newly-eligible Georgians can register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site at or contact local providers.

RELATED: Mercedes-Benz Stadium to become Southeast's largest COVID-19 vaccination site

Kemp urged anyone already eligible to confirm their appointment as soon as possible.

"If you are currently eligible for vaccination, please make your appointment," Kemp said.

This week the state received more than 450,000 vaccines, both first and second doses.

Kemp expects an increase in Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses next week. Kemp said approximately 70% of the vaccine allotment was directed to North Georgia and the metro-Atlanta area.

On Tuesday afternoon, there were still appointments available at the federal mass site at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Kemp said.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus pandemic in Georgia

Kemp said demand is lower in rural areas but some of the southern mass vaccination sites are booked. 

Kemp says the reason he is opening up the vaccine to all is a mixture of a steady supply and a plateauing demand from seniors. The biggest demand still is in the metro-Atlanta area. The supply may not initially meet the demand, Kemp said, but the area will be prioritized based on it's regularly high demand. 

"This is our ticket to get back to normal," Kemp said.

To this point, Kemp said 74% of seniors have been vaccinated. 

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, remarked on more than 360 cases in Georgia of new COVID-19 variants including UK, South African and Brazilian strains. These strains can be more contagious and potent, but the vaccines still help to prevent deaths and hospitalizations. The state is working on contact tracing for those individuals to backtrack where those variants came from.

Kemp says Georgia is 49th out of 50 states in vaccines being shipped to the state by the federal government per 100,000 residents. 

"When Dr. Toomey and I continue to say we have supply issues as a state, the CDC's own data provides that point," Kemp said. 

Public health data currently shows hospitalizations are the lowest they have been since the end of June. As of 3 p.m., the Georgia Department of Public Health reports 1,212 hospitalized with COVID-19, about a 48% decrease since the last month.


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