Mercer County vaccination rates on the decline

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 9:05 PM EST
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MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - The West Virginia DHHR website reports less than 54% of Mercer County’s total population have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccines. On January 12 there were just 26 first time doses given out, slightly above a seven day average of 22 daily. Now that number has dwindled to just a single dose all day Tuesday, dropping the daily average into single digits. Now it stands at nine, a significantly lower rate than Mercer County posted a month ago.

“I think three or four weeks ago we had done 280. Then the next week we had done like 60. So it’s been kinda slow. As far as the children aged 5-11, we haven’t seen a big rush for that either.” said Interim Administrator for the Mercer County Health Department, Bonnie Allen.

Allen says this downward trend is due to people who wanted to be vaccinated, getting vaccinated. But those who don’t, still refuse inoculation.

Pediatric vaccination is also lagging. Around nine percent of kids who are 5-11 have received one dose in Mercer County. Allen says that dismal rate is fueling more students to catch COVID and even more of them are being exposed to the virus.

“From my records and what I get, I had eighty two positive last week and over two hundred that were quarantined from exposure. They’re in groups routinely, so getting vaccinated would help them.” said Allen.

Princeton Rescue Squads’ CEO, Stacey Hicks, says wait times for hospital beds are unlike anything they’ve seen.

“There are times when our ambulances are tied up at the hospital for several hours at the hospital. Sometimes it’s tough to get out into the community and run emergency calls if we’re tied up at the hospital.” said Hicks.

Hicks says if people want to see a return to a sense of normalcy, more of the unvaccinated will roll up their sleeves to fight the spread of COVID in Mercer County.

“It’s imperative that people get vaccinated so we can beat this thing back a little bit.” said Hicks.

Allen says vaccine clinics will continue here despite low turn out. She says clinic times are shifting to offer early evening hours. They will run from noon until six pm in order to accommodate people coming home from work and school.

The health departments next clinic will be next Tuesday at the Karen Preservati Center.

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