University of Georgia President Jere Morehead, along with other senior UGA officials, is urging members of the University community to get vaccinated before the new academic year begins.
Calling vaccination “the best way to protect you, your family, and our University community,” Morehead called on anyone eligible for the vaccine to get one.
This comes as concerns rise over surging case numbers and the emergence of the Delta variant. In recent days, case numbers have grown to a level unseen since early spring.
The University of Georgia cannot change its policy regarding masks, vaccines, or most other COVID prevention measures on its own, however. University officials have said since the pandemic began that the University System of Georgia is in charge of making policy that all of the state’s public colleges and universities have to follow.
Across the state, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health, only around 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the state ranks 43rd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of vaccination rates per 100,000 residents.
In Athens-Clarke County, about 39 percent of residents are fully vaccinated.
WUGA's Martin Matheny filed this report: