County increases vaccine efforts | Yadkin Ripple

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Just over 24% of Yadkin County residents are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 and 16.6% are fully vaccinated, according to the most recent data available from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, which calculated vaccinations through April 1.

Yadkin County is diligently working to reach every resident who wants a vaccine, including offering onsite vaccine clinics for employers and coordinating administration of vaccines in the homes of residents who are homebound, said County Manager Lisa Hughes.

Recently, the county has been receiving 1,170 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine per week, but those allocations will be allocated by the state in the coming week.

“We have been able to administer all of the doses we’ve had,” Hughes said.

The county has converted some clinics to walk-ins at the last minute to fill available spots that could not garner enough appointments. Anyone age 16 and up may receive a vaccine free of charge, and it does not matter where a person lives — people can receive a vaccine in their county of residence or in another county.

The county’s Board of Commissioners recently authorized spending $2,400 per month of federal stimulus funds to advertise their vaccine clinics in The Yadkin Ripple and The Tribune in Elkin to help ensure everyone who wants a vaccine is aware of their options.

“I think there is a large population not only in Yadkin County but also in surrounding counties who don’t want it for various reasons,” said Hughes, who openly admits she believes the vaccine spared her the illness that took her own father’s life.

”The vaccine, it works,” she said. “I can say from personal experience, I was around people who tested positive. I didn’t know they had tested positive at the time and knock on wood, I didn’t get it. When you’re fully vaccinated, it works.”

Her father, Hershel Hughes, passed away Feb. 20 at age 84.

“Unfortunately, my dad did not survive it,” she said. “I’m not the only one. There are other county employees who have lost parents due to COVID.”

Hughes said some people have expressed an interest in only receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the county has developed a waiting list so they can reach out to those people for the next time the county receives that single-dose vaccine.

As of the April 1 data reported by DHHS, there have been 3,811 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began, with 5 new cases reported on April 1. There have been 47 deaths in Yadkin County.

Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.

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