Vanderburgh County fights declining vaccination rates


VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville’s Dale Cheaney is just one local resident who admits to having doubts about the covid-19 vaccine. According to the recent vaccination report, he’s not alone.

53.5% of residents ages 12 and up in Vanderburgh County have been fully vaccinated, but health officials are pushing for that number to rise.

“It’s just a daily, everyday trying to get people to take the vaccine,” said Commissioner Jeff Hatfield.

Over the past seven days, there have been an average of about 250 people getting vaccinated per day.

“If you’re looking at the past couple of weeks it’s on average – probably the same – we’ve seen a drastic decrease in those getting vaccinated over the past couple months,” added Ashley Libbert from the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

Libbert stressed that they want to continue to raise awareness and make the vaccine accessible to everyone.

As vaccination rates decline, COVID cases continue to grow, putting Vanderburgh County and the surrounding areas in the high-risk category.

Joe Gries, Vanderburgh Health Department administrator, said that 80 percent of current COVID cases in Indiana are of the Delta variant which brings about quite different symptoms than previous strains.

“Now it’s cold symptoms – so runny nose, sore throat, allergy-type symptoms. Things in our nasal passages that are bothering you. So if you have these types of symptoms, it may be a good idea to get tested to see if you do have the virus,” explained Joe Gries.

The CDC and the Vanderburgh County Health Department continue to stress their concern over wanting people to get the vaccine, trying to reassure the public that it is safe.

After getting vaccinated today at the national night out event at the CK Newsome Center, Dale Cheaney says he feels great, “I feel better…I feel like I’m covered.”

The Vanderburgh County Health Department continues to administer the COVID-19 vaccine daily and says they would gladly answer any questions to anyone who is still on the fence.

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