The amount of COVID-19 vaccinations across the county has dropped, according to the Monroe County Health Department.

According to Health Department Director Teresa Harrill, the total number of vaccinations to residents of Monroe County was 29,175 as of Monday.

“The population with at least one vaccine is right at 35% and with two doses there is 32%,” Harrill said. “So with the percent of at least one dose is not great because we want to be higher than that. We are probably only doing four or five a day if that many.”

She expressed her thoughts as to why the vaccinations have slowed to their current situation.

“I think those who wanted the vaccine have received it,” she noted. “I think we still have people who are unsure about taking the vaccine because they fear that it was made too fast, so I think those that want have had it but I wish it were different and that more people wanted to get vaccinated.”

Not included in the county vaccination numbers are people from outside the county who received their shot in Monroe, but Harrill said the health department has seen out of area people as well.

“We get the count depending on what they put down as their address,” she noted. “Even though we have vaccinated a lot of people from other counties, their number would go to their county not ours.”

Harrill reminded citizens who have children that the vaccine is available for anyone ages 12 and up.

“We just want to give the parents the information so that they can make the decision whether or not to get their child vaccinated,” she noted. “With school starting back and the unknown factor with the Delta variant of the virus we may actually see an increase.”

Her primary concern involving the Delta variant is how easy it is to spread.

“It’s easy to spread, moreso than the COVID virus, but one of the positives is that if a person is vaccinated it does help to fight against the varient,” she explained. “If you do come in contact with the variant it might not be as bad if you are vaccinated. There is still so much about it that is unknown. The Department of Health is sending some samplings to the CDC for testing of the variant.”

According to Harrill, normal COVID testing will not show the variant.

“It has to be tested at the CDC level,” she expressed. “I think the community should keep their guard up. I think we have gotten very excited and doing things back in a normal sense but I think we should be guarded with the practices we have gotten used to like washing our hands and social distancing. Just stay vigilant about the things that we got accustomed to last year, but the department of health is still here to help and we will gladly answer any questions that we can and if we don’t know the answer we will find it out for you so we are just hoping and praying this coming year is not going to be rolling into more months like we had last year at this time.”

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