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Gov. Kemp gives update on Georgia’s vaccine rollout; expands eligibility

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp addressed a data reporting issue of the number of vaccines being administered in the Peach State, and announced a new group of eligible Georgians during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Effective Tuesday, Kemp announced judges and courtroom staff are now added to the list of eligible Georgians. The expansion comes as jury trails resume across the state.

“Given the significant case backlog our courts are experiencing, we believe it is vital to get the third branch of state government back operating smoothly and safely,” he said.

In the last week, Kemp says they’ve identified at least 250,000 doses administered in Georgia through the Federal Pharmacy Program that have not been reported to the state or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“These doses counted against us in the number of shipped vaccine doses, but did not count in the number of those administered,” Kemp said.

Late last week, data from the CDC ranked Georgia last in the country for COVID-19 vaccines administered. Kemp says they’re still working to identify the exact number of doses not reported, so they aren’t sure yet how this has effected Georgia compared to other states.

Even with at least 250,000 doses that aren’t being credited to Georgia, Kemp says the state continues to beat the national average in vaccinating the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We are nearing one million seniors having received at least one dose or 70 percent of our over 65 population. The national average is 64 percent, according to the CDC data,” he said.

The governor says Georgians older than 65 account for 77 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 and the overall group currently eligible represents 92 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state.

Kemp says they’re planning for a large increase in vaccine supply from the Biden Administration beginning the week of March 29, especially for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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