A look into the vaccination rates nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic

ATLANTA — Many people thought that COVID-19 would be a distant memory by this time.

“We thought it was going to be over by now, but we’re still here. It’s kinda crazy to think about,” said Myles Joseph, a Cobb County resident.

A year later, nearly 200 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated, which equals about 61%. In Georgia, nearly 5.5 million people are fully vaccinated.

In the U.S., COVID-19 has claimed 800,000 lives.

The delta variant continues to be linked with 99% of all new cases. Omicron has now reached the majority of the U.S.

From January through May, Georgia Highlands Medical Services was slammed as people scrambled to get their shot. The CEO said there is now renewed interest as they see demand picking up.

“What’s been most surprising, we’ve had pretty good demand for ages 5 to 11,” said CEO Todd Shifflet.

Parents are keen to protect vulnerable children and others in the household. However, Shifflet said there are still many skeptics of the science.

“I just don’t want to get it until more results come up and then I know it’s safer,” said Josiah Sherman, a student at Kennesaw State University.


That belief is not supported by CDC data, which shows the vaccines are safe. But the state’s department of health needs to reach that population to move the needle.

In a statement, Georgia’s Department of Public Health commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, said: “If you are someone who wanted to ‘wait and see’ about the vaccine, please don’t wait any longer. As long as people are not vaccinated, COVID will continue to spread, and variants will continue to emerge.”

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