U.S. reaches vaccination goal a month late, despite Tennessee, Georgia rates lagging

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF)-  If everybody’s able to get vaccinated it reduces transmission overall. Reduced transmission reduces cases. Reduced cases reduces the risk of mutation,” said Pharmacist Jordan Morrison with Access Family Pharmacy.

A month after the goal was set, the US finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70% of American adults.

“The country has reached it but it’s an average and Tennessee is pulling the average down,” said Morrison.

Even though states such as Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama lag in vaccine rates.

“There is so much misinformation that’s being paddled. Sometimes when you hear a lot of loud voices you start to believe them even if it’s mostly just quack science. Most of it’s not even science at all. It’s usually a lot of ignorance parading as confidence,” said Morrison.

He said more people need to get vaccinated, because the fewer people are vaccinated, the higher the risk of stronger variants.

“The more people who stay unvaccinated and keep passing around, with different mutations which is what will happen within RNA-based virus, you’re playing with fire. It’s essentially what’s going to happen because it will continue to mutate,” said Morrison.

Meanwhile, Chattanooga’s Mayor Tim Kelly issued a mandate requiring the use of masks in all city-owned buildings starting today regardless of vaccinations status. Morrison said although those vaccinations protect and lessen the symptoms, they can still spread it.

“When you have possibly 60 to 70% of the people around you unvaccinated, somebody who took the step to be vaccinated spreads it. If you can prevent that at all it’s good to prevent it,” said Morrison.

It was also announced that the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga will also require returning students to wear masks in the classroom this fall.

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