Thursday, 06 May 2021 17:16

DHHS: 50% of N.C. adults partially vaccinated; 42% in Richmond County

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DHHS: 50% of N.C. adults partially vaccinated; 42% in Richmond County DHHS

ROCKINGHAM — Half of North Carolina’s adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday.

According to state demographics data, 51% of those aged 18 and older have received at least one dose and 43.1% are fully vaccinated.

Records show that 74.2% of older North Carolinians, 65 and up, are fully vaccinated; and only 34% of the state’s entire population is fully vaccinated.

"This is a significant milestone toward our goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and bringing summer back to North Carolina," Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a press release. "I hope you will join the more than 4 million people who have taken their shot and help put this pandemic behind us."

In Richmond County, the statistics aren’t as high.

Only 11,334 (25.3%) are fully vaccinated and 12,518 (27.9%) have had at least one dose, according to DHHS.

Health and Human Services Director Dr. Tommy Jarrell said Thursday that approximately 42% of adults have received at least the first dose, with most of those being completely vaccinated.

Dare and Hyde counties are the only two of the state’s 100 with a nearly 50% vaccination rate, followed by more the more populated Brunswick and Durham counties, with rates just more than 40%.

Currently there are only three vaccines to receive emergency use authorization in the U.S. — those made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The latter two were the only ones available in Richmond County.

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was temporarily halted by federal health officials in April after six cases involving severe blood clots following the vaccine were reported, but administration has since resumed.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for 16 and 17 year olds.

The Richmond County Health Department on Tuesday held a vaccine clinic for teens. Jarrell said 25 were vaccinated at the clinic, but he did not have numbers for those who may have been administered the vaccine at a pharmacy or outside of the county.

Jarrell said there will be more clinics scheduled, “as demand is there.”

Last month, Gov. Roy Cooper said he didn’t plan on easing restrictions until two-thirds of state residents were fully vaccinated.

There have been known “breakthrough cases” where individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 14 or more days after receiving the vaccine and not previously tested positive 45 days beforehand.

As of April 7, there had been 111 such cases in North Carolina. One of those resulted in death and seven patients were hospitalized.

The RO attempted to obtain updated statistics on breakthrough cases Thursday afternoon, but an email sent to DHHS was not returned in time for this story.

“We are extremely pleased with the number who have been vaccinated,” Jarrell said. “Obviously, there is more work to do to immunize as many as possible.”

There have been 24 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Richmond County this month, with 10 announced on Thursday.

The county currently has 50 active cases, with five residents hospitalized.

County records show there were 251 cases reported during the month of April.

The county has had a total of 4,637 positive cases and 44,362 negative test results since March 2020.

Daily cases statewide have ranged from 870-2,600 over the past month, breaking 2,500 twice, as hospitalizations have remained between 1,000 and 1,200.

Richmond County reported its 94th COVID-related death on May 4; the state has recorded 12,738 as of May 6.

Last month, several state legislators — including Rep. Ben Moss — signed on to a letter to the governor urging him to reject the idea of “vaccine passports.”

Lawmakers have also introduced House Bill 558 that would prohibit mandatory vaccinations.

The Health Department is offering the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by appointment, which can be made by calling 910-417-3030.

There will be a special vaccine clinic from 2-5 p.m. May 10 at the Ellerbe Fire Department with no appointment necessary.

Several local pharmacies are also offering COVID vaccines.

UPDATE: 9:25 p.m. - Breakthrough Cases

From DHHS spokesperson Catie Armstrong: "A linkage of vaccine and case data from April 19 identified 578 likely breakthrough cases. As of today, 3,561,447 North Carolinians have been fully vaccinated according to provider reports. The number of breakthrough cases represents a very small fraction of fully vaccinated people in North Carolina and nationally."

Jarrell said after this story was originally posted that he is not aware of any breakthrough cases in Richmond County.




Last modified on Thursday, 06 May 2021 21:26