Chambers County vaccine rates on the rise, second highest increase of fully vaccinated in area

Published 6:44 am Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A month ago, as the Delta variant spread, Alabama’s vaccination rate trailed those of all other states. During that time, East Alabama Health began tracking its local counties for progress, according to a media update they provided. Four weeks later, out of Tallapoosa County, Chambers County, Macon County, and Lee County, Tallapoosa County led the pack in showing the most improvement in new first doses, increasing by 5.09 percentage points. Chambers County came in a close second with a 4.91 percentage point increase, Macon County was up 4.41 percentage points, and Lee County was up 4.09 percentage points.

On July 29, 37.40 percent of Chambers County residents were partially vaccinated. By Aug. 26, that percentage had climbed up to 42.31.

As for full vaccination rates, Macon County had the largest increase of 3.02 percentage points since July 29. Chambers County was the second largest gainer at 2.94, and Lee County was the third largest gainer at 2.37.

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On July 29, 31.05 percent of Chambers County residents were fully vaccinated. By Aug. 26, that percentage jumped up to 33.99.

Nearby Bullock County had the best overall numbers in this region with 51.16 percent of its residents having received at least one dose. Their full vaccination rate of 39.91 percent was also the highest in the region.

ADPH and the Alabama Hospital Association provided a state update on Friday at 3 p.m: The ADPH dashboard indicated 5033 new confirmed cases.

Alabama’s testing positivity rate was 23.3% (up from 23.1 Thursday).

There were 2886 confirmed COVID-19 admitted patients statewide Friday (up from 2879 Thursday). Alabama hospitals had only 179 COVID-19 patients on July 3.

Of the 2886 patients with COVID Friday, 47 were pediatric patients.

859 were in the ICU and 578 were on ventilators.

There were 843 (44%) of hospital ventilator resources available.

There were 51 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Alabama reported Thursday.

In the past 10 days, there had been 454 COVID deaths in Alabama (avg. 45.4/day). 53% of all ICU patients in Alabama were COVID-19 positive.

As of Aug. 25, the median age of confirmed COVID-19 inpatients for this month is 55. 16% of current patients were age 35 and under.

2.2% of current patients were school age (defined as ages 5-18).

East Alabama Health equaled its 4th-peak high Friday with 77 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Meanwhile, ventilator usage returned to 16, where it had been four of the past six days.

Of the 77 patients hospitalized Friday morning, 59 of them were unvaccinated while 13 were fully vaccinated and 5 were partially vaccinated.

“Like other hospitals, we are seeing some breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals who end up needing to be hospitalized,” stated John Atkinson, East Alabama Health spokesman. “The Delta variant is much stronger than the original strain and that lessens the efficacy of the vaccine some. Plus, most of the vaccinated we’re seeing were among the earliest people to be vaccinated — mostly an older and/or immunocompromised population. The immune response from the vaccine may not have been as strong as with younger, healthier populations, which is why booster shots are being recommended soon.”

However, the key statistics to look at, according to Atkinson, are the ICU numbers and ventilator numbers.

“Of the 23 COVID patients in the ICU today, 20 of them are unvaccinated,” he said. “And 14 of the 16 on ventilators are unvaccinated. Clearly, vaccination makes a huge difference in the severity of symptoms if a patient has to be hospitalized.”