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Troup lagging behind other counties in vaccination rate

Compared to other Georgia counties, Troup County is lagging behind in its percentage of fully vaccinated people. Going by data retrieved on Monday from the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state average in Georgia is 20.57%. In comparison, only 16% of people in Troup County are fully vaccinated, putting Troup among the bottom half of all Georgia counties.

“I’m very concerned about the low vaccination rate in Troup County,” said LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton. “Our fully vaccinated rate and our one-dose rate are substantially below the state rates. If this trend continues, we will be slower than the rest of the state to move beyond Covid. I’ve had both vaccines and recommend everyone who is medically eligible to consider the shot.”

Troup County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews says he’s a “real believer” in getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and hopes people will seek out the facts about the vaccines.

“I’ve heard concerns from people about what the vaccine will do to you medically,” he said, explaining that many people are hesitant to get it after things they’ve heard or read. “All I know is that I’ve just heard a lot of people that just … based on information they got off the internet or from some national news source, you might say that they just had deep concerns about it.” Crews said he found this hesitancy “disheartening.”

Hayla Folden, media relations specialist for District 4 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said vaccination rates have been lower across the district over the last few weeks.

“We have seen a decrease in the last week and a half to two weeks, just overall, in the number of people wanting to get vaccinated,” said Folden, referring to District 4, which encompasses Troup County.

The Georgia DPH defines PCR cases as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per day. Overall, data on their website shows that PCR cases between April 20 and April 30 rose. On April 20, there was one case.

On April 21, there were 4. On April 30, there were 15. Fortunately, cases have declined overall between then and May 5.

Going by data from the Georgia DPH on Tuesday, Troup County has had 495 hospitalizations and 187 deaths overall due to Covid-19, meaning from the start of the pandemic. Among other Georgia counties, it ranks in the upper half for case rates at 8444.34 per 100,000 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that experts are unsure how many people need to be vaccinated to create herd immunity. Herd immunity refers to the fact that the more people in a community who are immune to a disease, either because they’ve had it or been vaccinated, the less likely the disease is to spread.

The CDC makes the point that getting vaccinated is a safer way to build immunity than contracting COVID-19.