62% of Douglas Co. COVID cases are in eligible, unvaccinated residents

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) – According to LDCPH, 62% of COVID-19 cases in Douglas Co. are in residents that are able to get vaccinated but have yet to do so.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health says like many communities in the region, it has seen an increase in new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, which is likely due to the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant. Unlike previous case surges, it said this surge occurs in an environment where a significant number of the population is fully vaccinated, which provides protection to those that have done so.

Among 53 new reported COVID-19 cases since July 1, LDCPH said 33 cases have been among those that are not vaccinated, but eligible to do so. It said six cases were in residents too young for current vaccines.

According to LDCPH, there have been no reports of a fully vaccinated Douglas Co. resident that has required hospitalization for COVID-19. It said the vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, especially to those most vulnerable to the virus. However, it said breakthrough infections are normal and happen within other vaccines, but the key is that vaccines have been effective at reducing chances for severe illness and complications due to the coronavirus.

Dan Partridge, LDCPH Director, said with the emergence of the Delta variant, unvaccinated residents could put the community at risk. He said LDCPH and Unified Command Partners are concerned about populations in the community with lower rates of vaccination. He said this includes residents under the age of 35 and those that live outside of the 66049 zip code. He also said partners are working hard to increase access to vaccines among Black and Indigenous communities to ensure everyone is protected against the virus.

“Our community has done a great job on so many fronts throughout the pandemic,” Partridge said. “Our overall vaccination rate has put us in the position we are with lower case rates and hospitalizations, but we just ask our community to continue to be smart and safe, and we encourage those unvaccinated to seek out appointments or information from trusted medical sources if they are in need of guidance.”

Those interested in booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment should click HERE.

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