The state of Georgia has opened the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults, and as young as 16 years old, in the Peach State. 

So, what are you waiting for?

The state, prudently, had vaccines for the senior population first. The novel coronavirus has taken an especially disastrous toll on our elderly. 

Our first responders and those on the front lines of health care needed to get it as soon as possible, too. 

The state has opened the eligibility — teachers were next — and now it is open to all adults.

Judging by the state Department of Public Health’s statistics, many of you haven’t waited. 

Thomas County remains, per capita, among the leaders in the state for getting the vaccine. More than 26,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the county. Of that total, more than 11,400 are the second dose of the two two-shot vaccines currently available. 

In Grady County, the number of vaccine doses tops 4,900. More than 2,000 of those are the second dose. 

Throughout the Archbold system, which serves several counties, more than 19,000 vaccines have been administered. 

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has set up mass vaccination sites across the state. You can find a location or set up an appointment at dph.ga.gov/covid-vaccine or myvaccinegeorgia.com.

However, for children ages 16-17, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use. You may want to check on its availability at the location where you plan to get a vaccine. 

Whether it’s the vaccine or the precautions, something seems to be working. Barely two months ago, the state was registering an alarming 6,000 new cases a day. Now, the state is recording just over 500 new cases a day, the lowest figure since early June of last year. More than 30 counties have recorded fewer than 10 new cases in the last two weeks. Thomas and Grady counties combined have had 28 new cases, as of Thursday morning, in the last two weeks. 

While those numbers are indeed encouraging, the novel coronavirus remains a significant and lethal threat. We urge all of us to keep practicing social distancing, continue frequent hand washing, keep wearing a mask — and don’t be afraid to get the shot, or two, in the arm.

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