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COVID-19 update: Beaufort County’s vaccination rate now 38%

The nationwide halt of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will remain in effect as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Committee on Immunization Practices waits for more data to be made available regarding previously administered J&J doses.

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration recommended the pause following seven reports of vaccinated individuals developing a rare and severe type of blood clot, as well as low platelet counts. One of those individuals has died, and another is in critical condition.

The Committee on Immunization Practices analyzed the cases during a meeting Wednesday, and the group will meet again in about a week. The FDA is referencing the committee’s analysis in its review of the vaccine.

Before the CDC and FDA issued their recommendations, the Beaufort County Health Department was planning a drive-thru Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic for Friday, April 16. That event was postponed, and the health department says it hopes to reschedule the clinic once the federal review is finished.

The health department and its partners are still administering Moderna vaccines as scheduled. Anyone ages 18 and older can sign up for an appointment with the health department. As of Friday afternoon, appointments as early as next Wednesday were available. To schedule a vaccination time with the health department, call 252-940-6150 or visit https://tinyurl.com/2bf26drv.

Some local providers, including Walgreens and Vidant, are administering the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer has been approved for ages 16 and up. For a list of local vaccine providers, visit https://tinyurl.com/2cx889k2.

VACCINATION RATE

As of Friday, 17,734 Beaufort County residents had been at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s almost 38% of the county’s population. From that group, 14, 174 people — 30% of the population — have been fully vaccinated.

Health Director Jim Madson has said that a 50% vaccination rate will help Beaufort County achieve an ideal level of herd immunity.

STATISTICS

Beaufort County has recorded 93-COVID-related deaths.  That number has climbed in recent weeks, and that’s partly because the county has had to wait to receive death certificates of Beaufort County residents who died in other counties.

Beaufort County’s seven-day and 21-day average case counts are both hovering below five.

As of Friday health officials knew of 44 active cases among Beaufort County residents.