Vaccination Rates in North Georgia slowly increasing
WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga (WDEF) – The delta variant surge has continued to push through our country, wreaking havoc on our local hospitals and taking the lives of many. But has this surge caused more people to get vaccinated? The numbers say yes, but officials warn that they still aren’t where they need to be.
Despite improvement, North Georgia Counties such as Whitfield, Catoosa, Walker, and Dade still have a vaccination rate of less than 40%
“ 33% of Catoosa County residents are fully vaccinated. That means 2/3rd or 2 out of every 3 people in the county are not vaccinated against covid,” says John Pless, Catoosa County Spokesperson.
Though the vaccination rates aren’t where health experts say they need to be, officials say there is evidence that more people under the age of 50 are beginning to get the vaccine.
“With what’s going on locally, it’s definitely inspired people to take that step to get vaccinated. We have a lot of younger people under 50 that have either passed away or have been on ventilators. I think people are seeing that and thinking that this is the time. This delta is very aggressive and is targeting younger people than we have seen previously,” says Ashley Deverell. Immunization Coordinator for the North Georgia Health District.
In an effort to motivate their residents to get the vaccine, Catoosa County has rolled out a $500 vaccination incentive for their employees.
“A $500 incentive is just a drop in the bucket compared to someone being hospitalized for covid. A hospital stay for covid is averaging $17,000 to $20,000 a person. If you go into ICU or ventilator status that goes into the $100,000 for the treatments,” says Pless.
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