After more than seven months, about 43 percent of people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Anderson County–lower than the national average–and the number of daily vaccinations remains far below the peak this spring, according to state data.
The largest increase in vaccinations in Anderson County was between about late February and mid-May. There were eight days with about 900 vaccinations or more during that time period and three days in April with more than 1,000 vaccinations, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. The peak was 1,256 vaccinations on April 10.
Now, though, vaccinations are in the range of about 100 per day, with all peaks below 200. At that rate, it could take months, maybe more than a year, to approach a vaccination rate of 70 percent or higher.
The number of new vaccine recipients can vary widely each day, but there does appear to be an increase in the number of new recipients as the new daily case rate rises again in Anderson County.
The low point in new vaccine recipients in Anderson County in months was six on July 5. That was about the same time the rate of new daily COVID cases dropped to its lowest point in more than a year, less than one new case per day on average.
But since then, the new case rate has steadily climbed to about 13 new cases per day, the highest it’s been since March, as the delta variant of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads in Tennessee and the United States.
As that rate has gone up, the number of new vaccine recipients seems to have climbed as well. After the low of six on July 5, the number of new recipients has been in the range of 70 or more most days since July 20, with a high of 111 new vaccine recipients on July 30.
Still, the percentage of people fully vaccinated in Anderson County is about 43 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. Roughly 47 percent of residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Two of the most common COVID vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, require two doses.)
The percentage of fully vaccinated residents in Anderson County is slightly higher than the statewide percentage, 39.3.
Tennessee is one of six states in the Southeast that have lower vaccination rates than most other states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And Anderson County, like most of Tennessee, is considered an area with high community transmission, the CDC said. The county and state are below the national average in the United States, where about 50 percent of people are fully vaccinated. (See here and here.) The CDC reports that 70 percent of adults have had at least one vaccination.
Health officials, government leaders, researchers, and doctors have urged those who aren’t vaccinated to get their shots if they can. They have said the delta variant of the coronavirus is more transmissible, driving this new COVID surge in the United States, and affecting more young people. They say the vaccines greatly reduce your risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
The total number vaccines administered in Anderson County is 68,783, the state health department said. The number of vaccine recipients is 36,464, and the number of fully vaccinated is 33,206. Anderson County has about 77,000 residents.
The first vaccination was reported in Anderson County on December 18, 2020, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. The peak vaccination rates this spring occurred around the time the vaccine became more widely available to more people.
Statewide, the highest percentage of those fully vaccinated are in the 61-70 age group (18.8 percent), followed by the 51-60 age group (17.2 percent).
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines and set up an appointment here.
See Oak Ridge Today charts of the vaccination rates on Flourish here.
Access Tennessee Department of Health data here.
See the state vaccination data here.
See the Anderson County data dashboard here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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