All Georgians age 16 years and over regardless of their health become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday, March 25. This latest vaccine expansion date was pushed up from the previously announced date of April 1 and as the state received more than 450,000 additional doses of the vaccine this week.
Governor Brian Kemp says he expects additional shipments of the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines beginning next week and continues to prioritize metro Atlanta where the demand for shots is greatest. Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for children 16 years and up, while Moderna and Johnson and Johnson are authorized for people 18 years and older.
Kemp urged people to book their appointments as soon as possible at one of the federal mass vaccinations sites, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, or at local health departments, pharmacies, and hospitals and healthcare providers.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Georgia expanded eligibility to residents 55 years and older and people age 16 years and up with a number of high risk medical conditions and as the state eased COVID-19 restrictions on bars.
According to the new state guidelines, bars and restaurants now follow the same set of COVID-19 requirements, which eliminates duplicate measures and combines the separate standards for restaurants and bars found in previous orders into one broad category. This includes arranging seating to allow for at least six feet between tables and other diners, installing physical barriers between seating arrangements, and not allowing patrons to gather when not being served. Kemp added new guidance permitting restaurants and bars to offer service at standing tables and counters and requires these businesses to establish clear and unobstructed pathways for entering and exiting.
All customer-facing employees in Georgia must still wear masks, including hosts, servers, bartenders, food runners, and bussers. Many restaurants and bars continue to follow city or county mask mandates, requiring patrons to wear face coverings when not eating or drinking.
In late February, Kemp announced the expansion of Georgia’s vaccine criteria to teachers and K-12 school staff, including people working for private schools, preschools, and daycares, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers, and parents of children with complex medical conditions. These groups became eligible for the vaccine on March 8.
The state health department features a website breaking down vaccine totals by state, county, race, and ethnicity. According to the March 23 update, Georgia has administered 3,207,113 vaccines or 81 percent of the 3,958,765 vaccines shipped to the state. Data is updated daily at 3 p.m.
Georgia residents can register for the vaccine here.