While Knox County led the nation in COVID-19 cases per capita earlier this week, it ranked fifth in the state in lowest vaccination percentage.
“Although we have seen an increase recently in the number of people taking the vaccine, there is not enough to help mitigate the spread. Utilizing just one prevention measure is not enough to fight this virus with the rate of spread that we are currently experiencing. Everyone needs to utilize every prevention measure available to them. Although everyone is burnt out with this virus, and wants to get back to normal, now is the time, more than ever, to follow the recommendations,” said Knox County Health Department Director Rebecca Rains.
Only 34% of Knox residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. This is compared to 59% for the rest of the state and 64% for the country. Fifty-five percent of Americans are fully vaccinated and 50% of Kentuckians.
One hundred and nine out of 145 votes cast in a Mountain Advocate survey from Monday stated that they had received at least one dose or planned on getting vaccinated. Thirty-seven respondents stated no to being vaccinated with 25 saying that they believe it is too early and that the vaccines are too experimental. All three available vaccines underwent thousands of trials to gain emergency use authorization from the FDA while the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine was recently the first to receive full approval.
Nearly six billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. The CDC website notes that out of millions of Americans to receive a dose of the three vaccines approved for use in the country, “no long-term side effects have been detected.”
The agency recommends everyone 12 and over receive a COVID-19 vaccine.