Delaware continues to trail neighboring states in reaching adult vaccination goal

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Delaware remains behind its neighbors in the rate of adult Covid-19 vaccinations.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have all have reached the 70 percent goal in adult vaccinations by July 4 set by the Biden-Harris Administration. However, a sharp decline in vaccinations makes reaching that goal increasingly unlikely.

This week, Forbes reported that 13 states have now met the 70 percent goal.

As of Wednesday, the percentage of Delaware adults who have received at least one dose of vaccine totaled 67.6 percent.

Delaware, like other states, has seen a decline in demand for vaccinations, despite wide availability that includes walk-in clinics and incentives that range from spaghetti and a meatball to a chance to win $302,000.

The seven-day average for vaccinations has dropped to around 3,400. That roughly may translate to about half that figure getting their first getting vaccine dose, with the remainder getting their second shot.

One big reason for the state not yet reaching the 70% mark is the lagging performance in Kent County. Another is a lack of enthusiasm for vaccinations among younger people.

Nine-tenths of the state’s over 65 population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

The vaccination rate for young people remains a fraction of that figure, with some of this due to teens and pre-adolescents only recently being cleared for the vaccine.

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Delaware public health officials are offering daily graphics on progress in reaching the 70% goal.

Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said that while the under 35 group typically has less severe cases of Covid-19, recent findings suggest that a troubling number of teens and young people have long-running and sometimes disabling conditions.

Delaware sees more variants of the virus from the UK, Brazil, India, etc. Some suspect that the variants produce more severe symptoms.

To date, vaccines have proved to be effective in dealing with the variants.

While Kent is the least populated of the state’s three counties, its nearly 43% rate of people with at least one dose stands in stark contrast to the 56 percent-plus figures for Sussex and New Castle counties.

Kent has the lowest rate of new Covid cases among the three counties, which is a possible factor in the reluctance to get vaccines.

Statewide, the number of new Covid-19 cases has dropped sharply. As of mid-week, only1.8% of total tests were positive in the 7-day rolling average, down two-tenths of a percent from the previous day. Throughout 2020 and into 2021, the positive rate had been 5% or higher.

State officials have remained low-key in comments about the vaccination gap and last week praised community outreach efforts in Kent that aim to get more shots into arms.

Delaware’s latest Covid-19 vaccination statistics can be found under the Vaccine Tracker dashboard at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Click here for more state data, including breakdowns by age, sex, race/ethnicity, at the statewide, county, and, in some cases, zip code or census tract level.

Below is a graphic from Big Local News. Laptop and desktop computer users can click on the headers below or maps for data on cases, fatalities, and vaccinations in Delaware and other states.

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