Gov. Kemp expands vaccine criteria for Georgians 55 and older, those with serious health conditions

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has once again expanded the criteria for COVID-19 vaccines. Nearly 3.3 million additional Georgians will now be eligible to get the vaccine.

Starting March 15, Georgians who are 55 and older and Georgians who have serious health conditions will be eligible to receive their vaccines.

These are the health conditions provided by the governor’s office: Asthma, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, liver disease, neurologic conditions (Dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s), overweight and obesity (BMI > 25), pulmonary fibrosis, Sickle Cell disease, thalassemia.

“We will continue to encourage all eligible Georgians not to wait to get their dose,” Kemp said.

[SPECIAL SECTION: COVID-19 Vaccine in Georgia]

Kemp’s office is expecting the state will receive 233,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next week, but not the Johnson & Johnson, though that could change.

With an expected increase in supply, the governor believes he can open it up even further in April.

“Provided we continue to see increasing vaccine supply, it is our intent to open up vaccination to all adults in the first part of next month,” Kemp said.

[RELATED: Here are the mass vaccination sites across Georgia and how to book an appointment]

However with expanding eligibility comes expanding demand.

GEMA Director Chris Stallings said they’re already trying to gear up for that at the mass vaccination sites around the state.

“Currently, we’re operating at a maximum of around 2,200 a day. The goal is to roll it up to 4,000 a day starting in the coming month,” he said.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia?

Here are all of the groups of people eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia as of March 8.

  • Healthcare workers (physicians, nurses, lab techs, EMS)
  • Law enforcement
  • Fire Personnel
  • First Responders
  • Individuals aged 65+ and their caregivers (people who help people in need of assistance with everyday tasks.)
  • Educators and staff (Pre-K, K-13, DECAL licensed or exempt childcare programs)
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
  • Parents of children with complex medical conditions

These are the new groups that will be eligible on March 15

  • People 55+
  • People with serious health conditions: Asthma, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hypertension, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, liver disease, neurologic conditions (Dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s), overweight and obesity (BMI > 25 kg), pulmonary fibrosis, Sickle Cell disease, thalassemia

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine, how to sign up

There are currently 10 mass vaccination sites in Georgia: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Albany Georgia Forestry Site, the Delta Air Lines Museum in Hapeville, the Habersham County Fair Grounds in Clarkesville, the Macon Farmer’s Market, the Columbus Civic Center, Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, the LakePoint Sports Complex in Cartersville, the Mall at Waycross Shopping Center and Word of Life Church in Sandersville.

Most major pharmacies, including Kroger, CVS, Walmart, Ingles, Walgreens and Sam’s Club also are providing the vaccine as well as county health departments. See the full list of vaccination providers HERE.

People who do not qualify yet are still encouraged to register at the state-run vaccine website, MyVaccineGeorgia.com, to get information on when they might be eligible.

If you are under the age of 55 and already registered, you will have to re-register on Monday starting at 6 a.m. because of a software change.

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