Georgia Still Last in Vaccination Rate Under Brian Kemp
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control, rankings indicate that Georgia is last in vaccination rate in the nation. Just 20 percent of the state population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the lowest rate of any state. Among states and territories, only Puerto Rico and Micronesia are vaccinating their population at a slower pace.
Though Governor Brian Kemp recently announced the expansion of vaccine availability to all Georgians over the age of sixteen, the problems that plague Georgia’s vaccine distribution system have not gone away. Georgia has long had an underfunded public health budget, and public health experts have pointed to the state’s poor execution of its vaccination program as cause for Georgia’s low rate.
“Today’s expansion of vaccine eligibility won’t cover up Brian Kemp’s total failure to implement an efficient vaccination program across Georgia,” said Maggie Chambers, communications director for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Changing eligibility criteria won’t solve the state’s mounting issues with uneven distribution and lack of access, especially among rural and low-income populations and communities of color. Rather than bringing vaccines to Georgians, Kemp has left people to fend for themselves to secure protection against COVID-19. Make no mistake — Georgia’s embarrassing last-in-the-nation status is a reflection of Kemp’s failures.”
Kemp was heavily criticized for his lengthy delay in acting on pandemic precautions and preventative measures a full month after Kemp was initially warned about the virus. It wasn’t until a full month after being warned that on March 2, 2020, that he finally took action and enacted a stay at home order. Georgia is now significantly behind in taking actions for the pandemic, and struggling to procure much-needed medical supplies as the state is forced to “play catch up” in coronavirus treatment.