Ga. marks youngest COVID death and a year of vaccinations

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 1:59 PM CST
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ATLANTA - A 4-month-old infant in Georgia has become the state’s youngest victim of COVID-19.

The Georgia Department of Public Health listed the infant’s death on its website Monday afternoon.

No additional details regarding the child’s passing have been given at this time.

The death was reported just a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of the arrival of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the Peach State.

The first allotment was about 6,000 doses. Since then, more than 6 million Georgians have received at least one dose of vaccine, nearly 5.5 million Georgians are fully vaccinated, and 1.2 Georgians have gotten booster doses, according to the heath agency.

“Countless lives have been saved thanks to the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “A year ago, the vaccine couldn’t come soon enough – it gave us hope and a path out of the pandemic. People were anxious and lining up to get their shot.”

Although the newly emerging omicron variant of coronavirus is getting a lot of attention, the delta variant is responsible for more than 99% of new COVID cases in Georgia, primarily in unvaccinated individuals, the agency said.

So far, there are only 5 reported cases of omicron variant in Georgia, but that number is expected to increase.

Scientists are still studying omicron.

An analysis Tuesday of data from South Africa, where the new variant is driving a surge in infections, suggests it may be milder but more contagious. The Pfizer vaccine appear to offer less defense against infection from omicron and reduced, but still good, protection from hospitalization.

Despite a year of vaccinations, the U.S. is on the verge of yet another depressing pandemic milestone — 800,000 COVID deaths.

From reports by WRDW/WAGT and WGCL/CBS43