Gov. Kemp one-on-one discusses COVID-19 vaccine

A day after President Joe Biden announced his administration would increase COVID-19 vaccine allocations to the states, Gov. Brian Kemp said he appreciates the additional doses coming to Georgia

"Every little bit helps," said Gov. Kemp. "I wish it was, you know, 200,000, but we'll take what they can squeeze out.  We're very appreciative of that. We'll immediately put that into the supply chain and into our different networks."

The governor said he thinks Georgians will see a difference when looking for vaccine appointments.

"I think people will notice that in some ways because we're being able to redeploy 40,000 doses that were going to nursing homes, plus this additional 25,000, which is about 16%, will be helpful, no doubt about it.  It gets us moving through the 1A expanded criteria quicker than we were a couple of days ago," Kemp explained.

Gov. Kemp also pushed back on calls by some school board members and superintendents to have the state prioritize teachers for the vaccines.

"We just don't have the availability of vaccine," said Gov. Kemp. "We know that people over 65 years of age are more susceptible to having a bad outcome with this virus or even the worst case and that's death [...] I know for myself I wouldn't want to put myself ahead of a first responder, a nurse or a doctor or medical professional that is literally on the frontlines of COVID-19.  And I wouldn't want to put them in front of someone like my mom or Marty's mom that if they get this, it can be a death sentence to them."

Kemp called it "pandemic politics."

The governor encouraged people to continue to follow public health guidance, wear masks and practice social distancing.

"We've got to really keep fighting this virus very hard.  We're already thinking for that day when we get more vaccines, more than even what they announced yesterday.  We're not going to wait for the federal government.  We know that they're making plans and I'm glad of that, but we're also making our own plans.  So, no matter what happens, we will be ready as a state with mass vaccination sites," Gov. Kemp said.

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