Kemp’s office has said vaccinating Georgia’s 65-plus population is a priority because of their increased vulnerability to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still advises that teachers be vaccinated before people aged 65-74, but says teacher vaccinations are not a requirement for schools to operate in person.
Georgia teachers are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, though state officials are expected to announce details soon about expanding eligibility to include more people.
The amended suspension was issued to the medical center in a letter dated Thursday.
Under recently published state rules, providers will receive a 45-day suspension the first time they are found to have vaccinated someone not yet eligible; they will be terminated from the vaccination program for a second offense. Those rules describe other types of violations and penalties, such as a warning followed by a two-week moratorium on vaccine shipments for a first then second offense of inoculating someone who neither lives nor works in Georgia.
The new agreement requires the medical center to waive its right to sue in connection with the vaccination program, the suspension and the state seizure of vaccine on Feb. 2.
The state public health agency offered no comment about the reduced suspension. McDowell, whose center was featured in national news coverage after the suspension, said she was thankful for “support” from people across the state and the country.
McDowell said the center expects to resume vaccinations of eligible people on March 16.