ATLANTA — As July approaches, it seems both Georgia and the rest of the United States will miss the vaccine goal set for the Fourth of July.
“Everybody, at this point, may know someone who has actually died from COVID-19. I know I have,” said Chapman Scarborough.
Scarborough says getting vaccinated was an easy choice for him once he considered the risk of long-term symptoms.
“They give your body a fighting chance. They give your body kind of a leg up,” said Scarborough.
He is part of of just 42% of Georgians who have had at least one vaccine dose.
Most Georgians are either undecided or they have decided no incentive can change their minds.
“That’s not going to persuade me to take a vaccine that was just recently created. And it’s not going to persuade me to give it to my children,” said parent Jennifer Whitley.
State Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey hoped to have 80% of the state vaccinated by the fourth of July.
The United States aimed to get 70% of adults vaccinated. Currently the rate is at nearly 66% with daily vaccinations slowing.
“The majority of individuals who are contracting the virus and requiring a hospitalization or those who refuse to get the vaccine,” said Habersham Medical Center CEO Tyler Williams.
Williams says COVID cases, deaths and hospitalizations are all down at Habersham Medical Center.
Williams says most patients who are coming in are mostly all unvaccinated.
“There will always be a certain amount of COVID in the community for the next couple of years until we reach that, you know, magic number of vaccinations, which is right around 75% or 80% now,” said Williams.
Hospitalizations and deaths have been remarkably low since January 19.
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The vaccines started shipping in December so it wouldn’t be until late January when someone could be fully protected.
Nearly 11,000 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since then. Only 70 of those were vaccinated showing the vaccine is 99.4% effective in keeping you out of the hospital.
During the same period, 2523 people died from COVID-19 with only 18 of those being vaccinated people. This shows the vaccines were 99.3% effective against death.
“There is, again, clear evidence that if you’re vaccinated, you’re very well protected, at least against severe or, or critical disease from COVID-19,” said Dr. Phillip Coulee, Augusta Health System.
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