COVID-19 vaccine in metro Atlanta: Everything you need to know

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UGA researchers looking into how long vaccines will last against COVID-19 and its variants

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Who is eligible, how to get an appointment and more information

Editor’s Note: This story originally misidentified the partners behind the two vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States. One has been developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, while the other has been developed by Moderna. A third vaccine, a one-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, was approved for emergency use in the U.S. on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Georgia is currently in phase 1a+ of the distribution plan for the COVID-19 vaccines. That means that access to the vaccine is restricted to those deemed high risk by the CDC and public health officials.

Phase 1a+ participants include:

  • Health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Georgia residents over 65+ and their caregivers
  • Law enforcement officials, firefighters and first responders

Who will be eligible next?

The pool expands on March 8, 2021, to include:

  • Educators and school staff, including employees of preschools and day cares
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
  • Parents of children with complex medical conditions

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Credit: Georgia Department of Public Health

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What vaccines are available in Georgia?

There are two vaccines that have emergency use authorization and are being administered in Georgia: one from Pfizer/BioNTech and one from Moderna. A third vaccine, a one-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, was approved for emergency use in the U.S. on Saturday, Feb. 27 and will be available in Georgia within a week.

These are a new type of vaccine. Many other kinds of vaccines use a weakened or inactivated virus. These mRNA vaccines don’t use the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, these give cells instructions to make a harmless protein piece to trigger an immune system response.

There are several additional vaccines still in various phases of being tested. You can find more information on the three vaccines being used and the other candidates at the CDC.

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How many people have been vaccinated in Georgia?

Please check our interactive map to find current COVID-19 vaccination rates for Georgia counties.

How can I get the vaccine?

If you are in one of the groups currently approved, you can try the state vaccine locator service to find a site near you. All sites require an appointment; there are no walk-in vaccines available in Georgia at this time.

In addition, several grocery/pharmacy chains are offering the vaccine:

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How can I find out more about COVID-19 vaccines in metro Atlanta?

There are a number of official resources that you should rely on. Each county has a dedicated resource to help keep its residents updated on local COVID restrictions and vaccination efforts:

In addition, the state has a central site for vaccine information at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. Georgia residents can also contact DPH at (888) 357-0169 with questions - but the hotline is only for questions, you can not make an appointment to get a vaccine at that number.

The state is opening 4 mass-vaccine sites across Georgia on Feb. 22. To register for appointments, at the following sites, visit myvaccinegeorgia.com

  • Atlanta: The Delta Flight Museum outside Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  • Albany: The Albany Georgia Forestry Commission in southwest Georgia
  • Habersham County: The Habersham County Fairgrounds in Clarkesville
  • Macon: The Macon Farmers Market.

Pre-register for upcoming vaccine information: If you are not yet eligible for vaccines, the state is offering an online signup to receive information about future vaccine availability at myvaccinegeorgia.com

If you want more information about the vaccine, the approval process and potential side effects, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine page.

Assistance for seniors

Georgia’s health agencies and the local Area Agencies on Aging are partnering to help older Georgians sign up for vaccines and, if needed, get transportation to their vaccination appointments. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, visit aging.georgia.gov.

How bad is the pandemic in metro Atlanta right now?

Please follow the AJC’s COVID-19 Dashboard for the latest information on the number of cases, deaths and testing across Georgia. The dashboard is updated daily with the latest information from the state.

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