50% of Georgians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

ATLANTA — Fifty percent of Georgians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data reported Monday.

The Georgia Department of Health said 56% of Georgians, which amounts to 5.78 million people, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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The update comes after Georgia remained stalled at 49% fully vaccinated for weeks.

The Department of Health said the state is seeing a consistent decline in the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the past two weeks.

.“However, COVID-19 continues to spread in Georgia, particularly in areas of low vaccination rates, causing severe illness and death – deaths that are preventable,” Dr. Katherine Toomey said.

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Vaccination rates have been low in Georgia, especially among people in rural counties. In five Georgia counties -- Chattahoochee, Long, Charlton, Wheeler and Brantley -- less than 30% of people are vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The metro Atlanta area has the highest vaccination rate in the state.

The Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines have all been available to people in Georgia ages 16 and up since March. The Pfizer vaccine was made available to children 12 and older in May.

Booster shots for all three vaccines are available as of this week. Booster shots have been administered to nearly 120,000 Georgians.