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Parents and caregivers jump at chance to get vaccinated in Georgia

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 3:55 PM CST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The latest expansion in the vaccine rollout in Georgia isn’t just huge for teachers, but it’s also huge for some parents as well.

Parents who have kids with complex medical conditions can also get the shot. That means a lot more parents locally are eligible to get the vaccine than they may realize.

“I think it’s a great idea. It gives us a chance as parents to step our game up and protect our kids,” Parent Sharie Walker said.

Because she has two daughters with asthma, she’s now eligible to get the COVID vaccine in Georgia.

But asthma isn’t the only condition on the list. The Georgia Department of Public Health says parents who have obese children can also get the vaccine, meaning thousands of parents statewide can get their shot.

Georgia has a statewide childhood obesity rate of nearly 15 percent lower than the national average.

But a new WalletHub study shows Augusta specifically is ranked the thirteenth ‘fattest’ city in America.

“If adults with obesity are considered at-risk, then children also should be.”

But adults with chronic illnesses like Melissa Houston are frustrated. She has chronic kidney disease and is still not eligible for the vaccine in Georgia.

“If they’re going to allow caregivers of people with those conditions, they also need to at the same time, protect adults with those conditions,” she said.

And while Houston will have to wait a bit longer, parents like Walker say they’re jumping at the chance to protect their kids.

“My concern is about my kids because they don’t have an option to protect themselves. 56 everything that affects them is in my hands,” she said.

Other parents who can get the vaccines are ones who have kids with diabetes, heart disease, or a weakened immune system. Adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities are eligible for this expansion as well.

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