Get vaccinated, DeKalb!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 county tracker, as of the first week of August, only 197,000 or approximately 25 percent of DeKalb County’s 759,297 population are fully vaccinated against the often-fatal virus.

Our county health department as well as city and county entities have for months offered free vaccinations to those who qualify and more recently have begun giving loaded debit cards to those who agree to be vaccinated. Obviously, these efforts have not made as much of an impact on the population as hoped.

The CDC also reports that the seven-day moving average of infection rates rose by 30.24 percent in the most recent study of the week ending Aug. 2. New hospital admissions due to COVID-related illnesses have had a positive increase of 97.14 percent during that same period. Ironically, during the same time period, testing for COVID-19 was down 9.2 percent.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that if more Americans are not vaccinated, the virus will continue to mutate and that there is a strong likelihood that variants of the virus, such as the much more potent Delta variant, will continue to mutate and strengthen over time.

Collectively, we must do better than what we have previously if we have any realistic hope of putting an end to the COVID virus.
The CDC has recently posted six ways we can help build confidence in the vaccination process and thereby make our county and its cities safer for all. These suggestions include:

1. Encourage family, community, or organizational leaders to be vaccine champions.
2. Have discussions with friends and family members about vaccination to understand their perspective and encourage them to be vaccinated.
3. Share key messages that promote vaccinations through multiple trusted channels.
4. Help educate people about COVID-19 vaccines, including how the vaccines were developed, their safety monitoring processes, and how individuals can talk to others to encourage vaccinations.
5. Learn more about credible vaccine information and cross-check vaccine information with CDC.gov and learn how to respond to misinformation that may be spreading.
6. Make your decision to get vaccinated visible and celebrate it!

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