Georgia announces new effort to get more people vaccinated

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to members of the press to give an update on the COVID-19 vaccine at the Georgia State Capitol building on Friday, January 8, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to members of the press to give an update on the COVID-19 vaccine at the Georgia State Capitol building on Friday, January 8, 2021. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com

Credit: Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com

Facing growing frustration from elderly Georgians unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Brian Kemp said Friday the state health department will be a central location where people see where they can go to book appointments.

State officials announced last week Georgians 65 and older could get the vaccine — provided there is adequate supply available. Many Georgians, though, have complained that their calls go unanswered at some county health offices and websites don’t work. Some county health department stopped scheduling new appointments because they don’t have enough doses to meet the demand.

Kemp said at a midday news conference the state Department of Public Health will post information online to better direct those eligible to get vaccinated to location sites. A spokeswoman for Kemp said Friday afternoon DPH will have updated information on their website by early next week. The governor also said starting today, and through this weekend, there will be four mass vaccination sites for health care workers in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

Federal data show Georgia has the second-lowest vaccination rate of any state in the nation, with only Mississippi with a lower rate. Kemp said Friday there’s been a significant delay by some officials in reporting vaccinations while acknowledging problems communicating information about where people can get the vaccine.

Kemp asked Georgians for patience, saying the state has a limited supply of doses.

“This has been, and will continue to be, a heavy lift for the state of Georgia,” he said.

Please return to www.ajc.com for updates.

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