ATLANTA (WSAV) – A nationwide program providing COVID-19 vaccines to residents of long-term care facilities is near completion in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday.
As a part of Operation Warp Speed, CVS and Walgreens agreed to administer the vaccine to some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.
Kemp said the pharmacies have completed the program in 99.5% of facilities. This has allowed the state to start transitioning some of the 40,000 doses set aside each week for the program to instead go to the general allotment sent to other providers.
Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said nursing homes are still the top locations for COVID-19 outbreaks in the state, proving how critical it is to prioritize residents and staff there.
Watch Tuesday’s full press conference with Kemp and Toomey:
Still, the state is working with just 120,000 doses total each week. And as the governor said Tuesday, Georgia has not yet reached the halfway mark vaccinating Phase 1a+.
About 2 million people — of the 11 million in the state — are eligible to receive the vaccine under this current phase.
Kemp and Toomey both said they have heard concerns about expanding eligibility, prioritizing teachers and people with developmental disabilities. But until there is more supply coming to Georgia each week, the state is focusing on the current phase and preparing for the possibility of expanding.
Toomey said after a call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration, it’s looking like it could be as late as April before more doses are allotted.
As of Tuesday morning, nearly 714,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed in Georgia, she said.