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Stanly sees small increase in vaccinations

Stanly County has seen a small uptick in the number of people that have gotten vaccinated over the past week, according to health department data.

As of Friday, 39 percent of residents (24,200) are partially vaccinated, up from 37 percent, while 35 percent (21,842) are fully vaccinated, up from 34 percent. Dating back to the beginning of August, the rate of partially vaccinated residents has increased four percent and the rate of fully vaccinated residents has increased three percent.

When it comes to young people, 14 percent of children 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, up from around 10 percent at the beginning of last month. Children younger than 12 are still not eligible to get vaccinated.

Roughly 500 people were vaccinated for the week of Aug. 16, the highest weekly total since late April, according to state data. For August, an average of about 450 people were vaccinated each week, about 65 percent higher than in July. The county is still well below the totals for the first few months of the year, when more than 1,000 people were getting vaccinated each week, but it’s now trending upward after averaging less than 200 cases for many weeks in June and July.

“We’re starting to move the needle a little bit on the vaccination rate,” Stanly County Health Director David Jenkins said. “That’s what we want to continue to see because everyone will either have a date with COVID-19 or they’ll have a date with the vaccine.”

The health department has also started administering booster shots for people with weakened immune systems this week, though Jenkins didn’t have any specific data showing how many people have received the third shot.

The county reported almost 400 coronavirus cases for last week, a 29 percent increase from the week prior. So far this week, there have been 204 COVID-19 cases along with 34 people currently hospitalized. Jenkins said the overwhelmingly majority of people in the hospitals have been unvaccinated.

Atrium Health released data, as of Tuesday, showing that of the 215 patients on ventilators across all its facilities, including Atrium Health Stanly, 96 percent were unvaccinated. Only eight people were vaccinated.

There have been 135 breakthrough infections since the beginning of July, but that has accounted for only about 10 percent of all cases during that period.

“The vaccine’s doing its job,” Jenkins said.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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