Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday that all adults over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday. As college students now fall into that group, universities are expanding their COVID-19 protocols.
According to the University of Georgia's website, the University Health Center (UHC) in Athens will begin issuing invitations for appointments to the remainder of the faculty, staff and students over age 16.
Students and faculty may receive the vaccine at the UHC or from their local healthcare provider or the Department of Public Health.
At the University of North Georgia, they began offering COVID-19 vaccinations in January and have since administered more than 315 first doses and more than 100 second doses to eligible individuals. UNG has also partnered with Hall County Government and the Department of Public Health to open a mass vaccination site on UNG's Gainesville campus.
In the same announcement on their website, they said UNG will discontinue its temporary vaccination clinics on all campuses after April 8, but will continue to provide vaccinations to students by appointment through Student Health Services as supply is available.
Greg Williams, associate director of emergency preparedness with UNG, said the decision to close the temporary sites was made because running two clinics simultaneously would be too demanding.
"We do have the mass vaccination site in Gainesville and we don't want to compete with that site," Williams said.
Williams also said he hopes the site in Gainesville will be convenient for UNG faculty, staff and students since the Gainesville campus is centrally located to UNG's four other campuses.
Sarah Davis, nurse practitioner at Brenau University, said they have several vaccination clinics planned. Thursday, planned to vaccinate 220 faculty, staff or students. They will also host a clinic at the Norcross campus on Friday and one at the Historic campus on Tuesday, March 30.
Davis said they would like to relax rules as more students get vaccinated, but will only do so if it is safe.
"It's always a matter of what's going on in the community around us, but we're hoping that we can get enough of our students vaccinated, and faculty and staff, that we can decrease some of the social distancing and mask wearing," Davis said. "At this point, we're holding everything steady until we can see the numbers in the fall."
The clinics at Brenau are currently only open for students, faculty and staff but will soon hopefully be open for family members as well.