Hamilton County COVID-19 vaccine update

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)- More than 35% of Hamilton County residents are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Another 40% of individuals are partially vaccinated according to the Hamilton County Health Department.

Doctor Harry Severance said when fully vaccinated the threat of being infected goes way down.

“People who have completed their vaccinations have a little risk of being reinfected, it’s not impossible. The majority of those who get reinfected usually have a benign disease like a cold. Almost, you know, 100% of them are not put back in the hospital or God forbid die,” said Severance.

He said studies also show spreading the disease if infected after being vaccinated is also significantly decreased.

“Someone who is fully vaccinated and is one of the rare people that have these infections, basically to transmit it to somebody else you’d almost have to have intimate contact. Now maybe if you sneeze right 2 inches away from somebody’s face, but it’s highly restrictive on how you can transmit the disease,” said Severance.

The health department added vaccination rates have plateaued, but the department hopes rates will increase in the coming weeks, as parents take their 12 to 15-year-olds in for their vaccination.

Dr. Severance said the honor system plays a part in the vaccination process as well. People who aren’t vaccinated aren’t just hurting themselves.

“Those are unvaccinated and are themselves at greater risk, it’s not a question of hey you’re on your own you made a choice. They’re not just putting themselves at risk, they’re putting others at risk,” said Severance.

Some people have chosen to continue to wear their masks even after being vaccinated for an extra level of protection and Doctor Severance people shouldn’t be judged for that.

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