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Half of the most vulnerable area residents aren’t fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Almost half of Central Texas residents 80 and older are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19,...
Almost half of Central Texas residents 80 and older are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite stepped up efforts to reach the most vulnerable, state data show. (File)(Photo source: WLOX)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 7:18 PM CDT
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(KWTX) - Almost 50% of Central Texas residents 80 and older are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite stepped up efforts to reach the most vulnerable, state data show.

Department of State Health Services data from the 16 Central Texas counties KWTX is tracking show almost 64% of residents 80 and older have received one dose of vaccine, but just more than 52% are fully vaccinated.

In Bell County, 63% of residents 80 and older have received one dose, but just more than 53% are fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County, just more than 68% of residents 80 and older have received one dose, but just more than 55% are fully vaccinated.

The state’s vaccination plan put frontline healthcare workers, residents and employees of long-term care facilities and the elderly at the front of the line for vaccination.

The first shipments of vaccine arrived in the state in mid-December and in early January the state began allocating doses to large vaccination hubs in Central Texas and around the state.

In the second phase of the plan, residents 65 and older and residents with certain medical conditions became eligible for vaccination and in mid-March, eligibility was expanded to residents 50 and older.

At the end of March, vaccination was open to all residents 16 and older.

According to DSHS data Thursday, almost 20% of Central Texas residents ages 16 to 49 have received one dose and almost 12% are fully vaccinated; more than 44% of area residents ages 50 to 64 have received one dose and just more than 32% are fully vaccinated; more than 65% of residents ages 65 to 79 have received one dose and about 55% are fully vaccinated, and about 64% of residents 80 and older have received one dose and just more than 52% are fully vaccinated.

In Bell County, about 18% of residents ages 16 to 49 have received one dose and almost 10% are fully vaccinated; about 41% of residents ages 50 to 64 have received one dose and about 27% are fully vaccinated; more than 62% of residents 65 to 79 have received one dose and about 51% are fully vaccinated, and about 63% of residents 80 and older have received one dose and just more than 50% are fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County, about 26% of residents ages 16 to 49 have received one dose and about 17% are fully vaccinated; about 52% of residents 50 to 64 have received one dose and just more than 39% are fully vaccinated; almost 74% of residents 65 to 79 have received one dose and just more than 61% are fully vaccinated, and more than 68% of residents 80 and older have received one dose and almost 56% are fully vaccinated.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

VACCINATION

Close to half of the residents 16 and older in Texas have received a first dose of vaccine, but just more than a third of eligible residents in the 16 Central Texas counties is tracking have received a first dose and in Coryell County not quite 25% have gotten the first shot, according to state data Thursday.

Department of State Health Services data Thursday showed 10.9 million or 48.7% of Texans 16 and older have received a first shot and 7.6 million or 34% are fully vaccinated.

In Central Texas, more than 251,000 or 33.7% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and more than 180,300 or 24.2% are fully vaccinated.

In Bell County, almost 79,400 or 29.1% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and more than 52,500 or 19.2% are fully vaccinated.

In McLennan County, more than 80.900 or 40.3% of residents 16 and older have received a first dose and almost 59,900 or 29.8% are fully vaccinated.

Baylor University is strongly encouraging, but not requiring, vaccination before the start of the fall semester, but is also running behind state rates.

“When I saw Baylor’s current vaccination rates at 43% for faculty and staff and 21% for students in yesterday’s Baylor News Digest – compared to another private university in Texas at 74% overall – I thought we can do much better,” university President Dr. Linda Livingstone said in her weekly message to students and staff.

Data Thursday from the state vaccination dashboard showed 40.2% of residents 16 and older in Bosque County have received a first dose and 31.8% are fully vaccinated; in Coryell County, 24.8% have received one dose and 16% are fully vaccinated; in Falls County 33.8% have received one dose and 23.3% are fully vaccinated; in Freestone County, 27.8% have received one dose and 20.5% are fully vaccinated; in Hamilton County, 44% have received one dose and 36.9% are fully vaccinated; in Hill County, 35% have received one dose and 27.8% are fully vaccinated; in Lampasas County, 35.3% have received one dose and 24.6% are fully vaccinated; in Leon County, 34.6% have received one dose and 27.4% are fully vaccinated; in Limestone County, 30.3% have received one dose and 23.5% are fully vaccinated; in Milam County, 36.3% have received one dose and 28.8% are fully vaccinated; in Mills County, 38.2% have received one dose and 31.1% are fully vaccinated; in Navarro County, 40.3% have received one dose and 31.1% are fully vaccinated; in Robertson County, 37.1% have received one dose and 28.9% are fully vaccinated, and in San Saba County, 29.8% have received one dose and 20.6% are fully vaccinated.

Another 1.7 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were due to be shipped to providers this week across the state, just more than 11,000 of them to hub sites, pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics in Central Texas.

Fewer than 3,000 doses were headed to Central Texas hub vaccination sites this week, according to a DSHS distribution list released before the state notified providers over the weekend they can resume use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Ascension Providence Health Center in Waco was due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week; Coryell Health Medical Clinic in Gatesville, was due to receive 1,170 doses of Pfizer vaccine; the Waco-McLennan County Health District was due to receive 1,500 doses of Moderna.

No shipments were scheduled to the Falls Community Hospital and Clinic, the Bell County Public Health District, or the Corsicana-Navarro County Public Health District.

Another 7,510 doses were due to be distributed to clinics and pharmacies in Central Texas, and 600 doses have been allocated to five state prison units in the region.

All residents 16 and older are eligible for vaccination.

Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler where residents may sign up for COVID-19 shots through a list of public health departments and select preferred times of day for vaccinations. Those without internet access may call 1-833-832-7067 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

NEW CASES, ADDITIONAL DEATHS

DSHS reported another 2,580 confirmed cases of the virus Thursday, 2,404 of them new, raising the statewide total to 2,467,456.

At least 63,157 cases were active Thursday, 188 more than on Wednesday, 2,738,193 residents have recovered, and 2,745 were hospitalized, 51 fewer than on Wednesday.

At least 49,158 have died, an increase of 67.

Three more deaths were reported Thursday in Central Texas.

As many as 1,666 Central Texas residents diagnosed with the virus have died, but according to state data Thursday, the regional death toll was 1,642 including 415 Bell County residents, 14 fewer than the local count of 429; 33 Bosque County residents; 86 Coryell County residents; 32 Falls County residents; 49 Freestone County residents; 26 Hamilton County residents; 108 Hill County residents; 32 Lampasas County residents; 43 Leon County residents; 76 Limestone County residents; 470 McLennan County residents, 16 more than the local count of 454; 48 Milam County residents, one more than the local count of 47; 21 Mills County residents; 140 Navarro County residents, 10 fewer than the local count of 150; 40 Robertson County residents, and 23 San Saba County residents.

The total number of cases confirmed in Central Texas rose to at least 77,849 Thursday, an increase of 49.

In Trauma Service Area L, which includes Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, and Mills counties, at least 35 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized Thursday, accounting for about 4% all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

At least 19 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized Thursday in Trauma Service Area M, which includes McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Hill and Limestone counties, accounting for about 4% of all hospitalizations and filling about 3% of available beds.

The statewide Lab Test Date positivity rate rose from 5.13% Wednesday to 5.4% Thursday.

A positivity rate of 5% or less generally indicates the virus is contained, experts say.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY

The Bell County Health District reported the county’s 429th death from the virus Thursday, a Temple woman in her 80s.

The health district also reported 39 additional cases of the virus, raising the county’s total to 22,205.

At least 256 cases were active Thursday and 21,520 residents have recovered.

State data, which includes Fort Hood personnel who live on post, showed a total of 22,272 confirmed cases, an increase of 17, and 415 deaths, an increase of one.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday at Temple College at 2600 South 1st St.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor dashboard Thursday showed seven active cases and a total of 364 since Aug. 1, 2020.

Texas A&M University-Central Texas Thursday showed no active cases and a total of 42 since March 2020, 30 of them involving students.

The Killeen ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 14 cases involving students and four cases involving staff members in the past seven days and 1,755 confirmed cases since March 16, 2020, 882 involving students and 873 involving staff.

The Killeen ISD continues to offer free COVID-19 screening to students and employees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on regular school days at the former Nolan Middle School building at 505 Jasper Dr. in Killeen, using the 2nd Street entrance. Screening is by appointment and students younger than 18 require signed waivers from parents or guardians. The state-funded testing uses BinaxNOW nasal swab tests, which provide results in 15 minutes. Information is available online.

The Temple ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Thursday.

The Belton ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed six cases across six campuses and one at a non-campus facility.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

BELL COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

MCLENNAN COUNTY

The Waco-McLennan County Health District data dashboard wasn’t updated Thursday evening.

The county reported a total of 26,896 cases Wednesday.

At least 142 cases were active Wednesday, 26,300 residents have recovered, and 17 were hospitalized, three of them on ventilators.

No additional deaths were reported Wednesday.

Local data showed the virus has claimed 454 lives in the county.

State data showed 470 deaths.

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute food from 10 a.m. to noon on May 27 at Waco ISD Stadium at 1401 South New Road.

Free COVID-19 test sites are in operation in the Waco area. Additional details are available online.

For those experiencing disabling feelings of loss, change and sadness, short-term counseling is available through the Texans Recovering Together Crisis Counseling Program. A counselor can be requested using an online form or by calling 1-866-576-1101.

Baylor University’s online dashboard showed 75 active cases Thursday, 72 involving students, one involving a faculty member and two involving contractors. Since Aug. 1, 2020, a total of 3,962 cases have been confirmed. In the past seven days, 31 tests have come back positive. Baylor is requiring weekly COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff. The university will not require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against the virus this fall, but is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Commencement for 2020 and 2021 graduates will be spread over three days next week from Thursday through Saturday with “numerous sessions to ensure social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols are in place,” the university said Wednesday.

The McLennan Community College dashboard Thursday showed three active case, and a cumulative total of 364 cases, 282 of them involving students.

The Waco ISD dashboard Thursday showed five active cases across three campuses and 288 total cases involving students, 300 involving staff and 18 involving those described as “other” since Sept. 8, 2020.

The Midway ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed 11 cases across four campuses, six of them at Midway High School.

The Lorena ISD dashboard showed three active cases across two campuses Thursday.

The Mart ISD’s online dashboard showed three cases Thursday at Mart High School.

The McGregor ISD’s online dashboard showed three cases Thursday across two campuses.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

MCLENNAN COUNTY COVID-19 DEATHS

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

CORYELL COUNTY

Coryell County had 6,929 confirmed cases Thursday, an increase of 10, and 273 probable cases.

At least 7,012 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed 86 lives in the county, according to state data.

The Copperas Cove ISD’s online dashboard Thursday showed four cases across two campuses.

The Gatesville ISD’s online dashboard showed no active cases Thursday.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice two cases involving inmates and five involving employees Wednesday at the Christina Melton Crain Unit where 104 inmates were restricted and 10 were isolated; one case involving an employee at the Hilltop Unit; eight cases involving employees at the Alfred D. Hughes Unit where five inmates were isolated; no active cases at the Mountain View Unit where two inmates were restricted and three were isolated; one case involving an inmate at the Dr. Lane Murray Unit where one inmate was isolated, and one case involving an inmate and four involving employees at the Linda Woodman State Jail where 101 inmates were restricted and five were isolated.

The Cove House Free Clinic at 806 West Avenue D, Suite H, is offering free COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Appointments are required and may be made by calling (254) 289-9865.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

FALLS COUNTY

Falls County had 1,888 confirmed and 194 probable cases Thursday.

State data showed at least 2,033 residents have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 32 residents, state data showed.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported one case involving an inmate at the William Hobby Unit in Marlin where 60 inmates were restricted and one was isolated, and one case involving an employee at the Marlin Transfer Unit.

LIMESTONE COUNTY

Limestone County had 2,125 confirmed and 633 probable cases Thursday.

At least 2,635 patients have recovered.

The virus has claimed the lives of 76 residents, state data showed.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

NAVARRO COUNTY

Navarro County had 3,457 confirmed and 2,314 probable cases Thursday.

Of the total, at least 5,515 patients have recovered.

State data showed 140 deaths.

Local data showed 150 deaths.

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

OTHER COUNTIES

Bosque County had 1,358 confirmed and 307 probable cases of the virus Thursday. Of the total, 1,616 patients have recovered and 33 have died, according to state data.

Freestone County had 1,085 confirmed cases Thursday, an increase of nine, and 785 probable cases. At least 1,780 patients have recovered and 49 have died according to state data. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported two cases involving employees at the William Boyd Unit in Teague.

Hamilton County had 712 confirmed and 58 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 734 patients have recovered and 26 have died, according to state data.

Hill County Thursday had 3,774 confirmed cases and 701 probable cases. At least 4,318 patients have recovered, and 108 residents have died, according to state data. The Hill College dashboard showed no active cases Thursday on the Hill County campus. The Hillsboro ISD dashboard Thursday showed three cases across three campuses.

Lampasas County had 1,835 confirmed and 332 probable cases Thursday. At least 2,101 patients have recovered, and 32 residents have died.

Leon County had 1,269 confirmed and 355 probable cases Thursday. At least 1,561 patients have recovered, and a 43rd resident diagnosed with the virus has died, according to state data.

Milam County had 1,434 confirmed and 1,088probable cases Thursday. At least 2,508 patients have recovered and 47 have died. Ten cases were active Thursday. Two residents were hospitalized. State data showed 48 deaths.

Mills County had 593 confirmed and 62 probable cases of the virus Thursday. At least 632 patients have recovered and 21 have died, according to state data.

Robertson County had 1,693 confirmed cases Thursday and 418 probable cases. At least 2,032 patients have recovered and 40 have died, according to state data.

San Saba County had 529 confirmed cases Thursday and 256 probable cases. At least 767 patients have recovered and 23 have died, according to state dataThe Texas Department of Criminal Justice Thursday reported two cases involving employees at the San Saba Transfer Unit.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL COVID-19 DATA

COVID-19 INFORMATION, LINKS AND RESOURCES

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