One year ago, the words Georgians had waited months to hear were finally being heard: “First shipments of COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Georgia.”

December 14th was twelve months since that first small allotment of vaccine, about 6,000 doses, and the initial shots were administered, more than 6 million Georgians have received at least one dose of vaccine, nearly 5.5 million Georgians are fully vaccinated, and 1.2 Georgians have gotten booster doses.

“Countless lives have been saved thanks to the COVID vaccine. A year ago, the vaccine couldn’t come soon enough – it gave us hope and a path out of the pandemic. People were anxious and lining up to get their shot.”

Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is grateful to all public health and healthcare providers for their dedication and continuing work to get shots into the arms of Georgians.

“Our COVID vaccines are safe and effective and can prevent severe illness and death from COVID. If you are someone who wanted to ‘wait and see’ about the vaccine, please don’t wait any longer. As long as people are not vaccinated, COVID will continue to spread, and variants will continue to emerge.” 

Toomey
covid vaccine
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Currently, the Delta variant is responsible for more than 99% of new COVID cases in Georgia, primarily in unvaccinated individuals. So far, there are only 5 reported cases of Omicron variant in Georgia, but that number is expected to increase. Scientists are still studying Omicron to determine the severity of illness it may cause and how vaccines will hold up against it.

All Georgians aged 5 and older are eligible for vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults aged 18 and older who completed their first series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or two months ago for J&J vaccine.

Along with vaccination and booster doses, the CDC recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19. Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should get tested.

To find a COVID vaccine or COVID testing location near you log on to dph.ga.gov. For additional information on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov.