Our state received rather depressing recognition last week. Georgia ranked last for getting its citizens vaccinated for COVID-19. According to a U.S. News and World report last week, approximately 1.3% of Georgians had received the vaccine. Of the roughly 10 million citizens in Georgia, only 235,000 had received the vaccination as of last week. However, the state has received 923,050 doses. The Georgia Department of Health’s numbers were slightly higher at 283,177.

Governor Brian Kemp has reported that he believes more people in the state have actually been vaccinated, but hospitals are behind on reporting. Kemp said that the state could administer 11,428 doses per day, but at that rate it would take years to vaccinate every Georgian.

“Some of it is due to poor planning and execution of a mass vaccination strategy, if Georgia ever actually had one,” wrote Amber Schmidtke, an epidemiologist who reports daily on Georgia’s outbreak. “Instead, the responsibility for vaccinating a population of 10.6 million people has been pushed down to 18 underfunded public health districts, operating with a skeleton crew.”

“Look, I’m not happy with it,” Kemp told reporters after giving an update on the state’s vaccine rollout. “I’m pleased with how hard everybody’s working, but I’m not happy with where we are; we got to keep moving the needle. We’re working on that every single day.”

Let’s hope Kemp is telling the truth and the state is working to correct issues with vaccine distribution. Georgia’s numbers continue to climb putting our citizens, especially our older citizens, at an even higher risk.

Listed below are Georgia vaccine resources:

- DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, (888) 357-0169

- Vaccine appointment signup for healthcare workers, https://dph.georgia.gov/provider-vaccine-registration-ph-district-list