Hancock County recently passed some significant milestones in the battle against COVID-19 that are worth noting (of importance – there are about 80,000 residents in the county, of which approximately 62,000 are over age 16):
These are impressive numbers and give us an appropriately positive perspective on this stage of the pandemic. But, the key to success is achieving herd immunity, which is 70% – 90% of the population achieving immunity either via infection with COVID-19 or via the vaccine. 70% equates to 56,000 total residents or 44,000 adult residents. We are closing in on 40,000 adults in our county having received at least one dose of the vaccine, thus we are almost to the lower threshold for herd immunity and need just a few thousand more to jump on the bandwagon and help us achieve our goal!
We all want to get back to a more normal life, which means leaving the masks behind us. We can’t do this until we reach a level of immunity in which the virus is stopped because it hits a wall of vaccinated individuals and cannot easily get to our unvaccinated friends. Please take advantage of this window while access to the vaccine is easy. There are no lines, anyone can walk-in and get the shot (no scheduling required), and it is free.
In a few months, the vaccine will be approved by the FDA and many employers (hospitals first) will require vaccination as a condition of employment. In addition, proof of vaccination may be required for school attendance, international travel, and possibly event attendance at large venues. In the meantime, due to low demand, many of the mass vaccination sites will reduce hours or close entirely and the vaccine will move to a billable service (no longer free).
If one wants to wait in long lines for an expensive vaccination that is required to keep a job, go to school, or travel, then waiting a few months is a good plan. A much better plan is to be proactive, get the shot now, and join the 148 million Americans (2.5 million Hoosiers) who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
We can only do this together!