White House officials say that the vice president will tour a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at Ebenezer Baptist Church before delivering remarks at a COVID vaccination mobilization event at Clark Atlanta University.
Vice President Harris is also scheduled to participate in a conversation on voting rights with community leaders at Clark Atlanta University before returning to Washington, DC.
The White House released a tentative schedule of her visit:
- 9:30 a.m.: The Vice President will travel to Atlanta, Georgia.
- 11:55 a.m.: The Vice President will tour a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
- 1:40 p.m.: The Vice President will deliver remarks at a COVID vaccination mobilization event at Clark Atlanta University.
- 4:40 p.m.: The Vice President will participate in a conversation on voting rights with community leaders at Clark Atlanta University.
- 6:15 p.m.: The Vice President will depart Georgia en route to Washington, DC.
Harris' visit to Atlanta is expected to cause delays in traffic across various parts of the city, especially around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. You can stay up to date on the latest road closures and delays here.
The vice president's visit is part of the Biden administration's National Month of Action "to reach millions of Americans who still need protection against the virus, highlight the ease of getting vaccinated, encourage vaccinations, and mobilize grassroots vaccine education and outreach efforts."
Georgia continues to rank in the bottom 10, per capita, for vaccinations according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
State leaders have continued to increase their efforts to push up the state’s lagging rate of COVID-19 vaccination, with state health workers and others set to participate in more than 370 community vaccination events between now and July 4th.
Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to reporters Thursday about vaccination efforts, after touring a site at the Latin American Association in the Atlanta suburb of Brookhaven. There about 50 inoculations were administered in a continuing effort to reach Spanish-speaking Georgians, one of several groups where vaccination rates are lagging.
Kemp noted that new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations from the respiratory illness continue to fall in Georgia, saying he feels "very good about where we are." But the pace of new shots has slowed in Georgia, with the state passing up more than 3 million doses of two-stage vaccines that had been allocated to the state before they were shipped, instead of adding them to a federal pool that provides extra doses to states seeing higher demand.
Only a third of Black Georgians have received at least one dose, compared to 38% of white Georgians and 72% of Asian residents, state data show. Only Hispanic residents are faring worse, with about 31% having received one dose.
Despite the low vaccination rates, Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said she remained hopeful that Georgia could reach 70% to 80% of the eligible population of people 12 and older in the coming months.
"I do believe that we will get there and I think the more people are vaccinated, the more comfort there is within the community," Toomey said, adding family members, pastors, physicians and coworkers would be the best advocates to persuade those who are holding back.
Trying to reach Spanish speakers, both Toomey and Kemp emphasized that no insurance coverage, identification, or immigration documents are needed to get vaccinated and that information will not be shared with legal authorities. Toomey said she sent a letter to all providers telling them they cannot request identification.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.