Georgia Southern Opens Up Vaccine Availability

Lila Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief

It is no surprise that Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong and Statesboro campuses have begun offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to those who qualify. The vaccine has just become available more often and to a wider variety of our GSU community. 

In an email sent Monday afternoon from the administration to faculty and staff, more vaccine appointments are becoming available via their drive thru stations on the Statesboro campus Mar. 24 and Armstrong campus Mar. 30. 

There are also new guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on who is eligible for the vaccine as well. 

As of Mar. 15, 2021, the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH) opened up the availability of vaccines to: “healthcare workers, law enforcement, including fire and first responders, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, educators and staff, judges and court staff, individuals 55 and older, individuals 16 and older with disabilities, parents of children with complex medical conditions, individuals 16 and older with certain medical conditions, and caregivers.” 

A quick cursory glance over these qualifications might yield disappointing results for the everyman looking to be vaccinated as soon as possible against COVID-19, however, a closer look at what medical conditions qualify a person for a vaccine tells a different story. 

Under COVID-19 eligibility on the Georgia Department of Health’s website, it states that, “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.” 

One certain underlying medical condition that could cause severe illness from COVID-19 is being overweight and obese. While obesity seems self-explanatory, the amount of people overweight according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) system used is larger than one might think, especially in Georgia. 

Being overweight according to the BMI system, is a BMI greater than 25. According to this stipulation, many more students and employees are now eligible for the vaccine than before. To calculator your BMI, visit Adult BMI Calculator on the CDC website. 

To schedule your vaccine appointment, go to the MyGS portal and click on “COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Form” under the heading of “COVID-19 Information and Resources.”