COVID Vaccine Eligibility

The Georgia Department of Public Health is prioritizing COVID vaccinations based on the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19, and ethical considerations. The goal is for all Georgians to have access to COVID vaccine as soon as large enough quantities are available and allocated to Georgia by the federal government.

Among Georgia’s current eligible populations for vaccination are individuals aged 16 and older with disabilities and their caregivers, parents of children with complex medical conditions who are at high risk for COVID-19 complications and individuals with certain medical conditions as defined below.

Intellectual Disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 22.

Developmental disability is a physical or mental impairment that happens before the age of 22, is expected to last a lifetime, and impacts at least three activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include self-care; receptive and expressive language; learning; mobility; self-direction; capacity for independent living; and economic self-sufficiency.

Disabilities also include disabilities caused by an injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury), a disability due to a longstanding condition that could cause vision loss, nerve damage or loss of a limb, or a disability due to illness such as ALS or multiple sclerosis.

Caregivers provide care to people who need some degree of ongoing assistance with everyday tasks on a regular or daily basis. The recipients of care can live either in residential or institutional settings, range from children to older adults, and have chronic illnesses or disabling conditions.

Parents of children with complex medical conditions or who are at high risk for COVID-19 complications include:

  • Malignancies requiring active treatment
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including organ transplant (bone marrow or solid organ) within 2 years
  • Critical congenital heart disease
  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Significant neurologic injury or condition (e.g. hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, traumatic brain injury, congenital anomaly, acute flaccid myelitis) with functional/developmental impairment (e.g. cerebral palsy, developmental disability, prematurity, mitochondrial disease)
  • Technology dependence (e.g. BiPAP, trach)

Individuals aged 16 and older with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death. These conditions include:

  • Asthma (moderate to severe)                           
  • Cancer                                                  
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)            
  • Chronic kidney disease                         
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis                                                 
  • Diabetes                                               
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure                
  • Heart conditions     
  • Immunocompromised (from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines)
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological conditions
  • Overweight and obesity (Having obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) between 30 kg/m2 and <40 kg/m2 or severe obesity (BMI of 40 kg/m2 or above), increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Having overweight, defined as a BMI > 25 kg/m2 but less than 30 kg/m2 might increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • Thalassemia (blood disorder)

For additional information about medical conditions, log on to:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html

NOTE: For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. Please schedule an appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available to you.

 

Updated 3/15/2021