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More COVID shots needed in Leon County to reach herd immunity

Local task force working to vaccinate more people
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 19:21:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in December 2020, Leon County has vaccinated a total of 126,652 people, according to the health department.

We still have a long way to go before reaching herd immunity against the virus. Members of the local coronavirus vaccination community education and engagement task force say to get your COVID shots.

As of June 8, 2021, 48 percent of all eligible Leon County residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the health department.

Taskforce member, Dr. Elaine Bryant is determined to get that number higher. “We’re always making headway if we get one or two people to take the vaccine,” Dr. Bryant said.

The health department says as of June 9, Leon County has a known total of 32,046 confirmed cases and 334 deaths. Vaccine hesitancy over misinformation is a big barrier right now.

“It’s going to be a slog,” said Jason Salemi. He is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology for University of South Florida. “It’s going to be a hard road to get to higher percentages of people vaccinated.” He added that targeted strategies are needed in each community.

“What I think it’s going to take is creativity, ingenuity and showing up where people are,” added task force member, Talethia Edwards. “If it takes door to door, I’ve mentioned that I would be willing to have a nurse accompany me as a community advocate to say hey, we have it now.”

The faith-based community is also working to get the job done.

“You are a good neighbor and a better neighbor when you’re able to get the vaccination,” added Rev. R.B. Holmes. He helped start the local vaccine task force. “We believe that these vaccines do save lives.”

COVID-19 cases still popping up locally. Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare reported six COVID-positive patients in treatment Thursday. That number is up from just one a week ago.

Capital Regional Medical Center says they’re treating six patients compared to five a week ago.