LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Troup County lagging behind other Georgia counties with COVID-19 vaccinations. Currently, 17% of Troup County residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health website.
Officials credit the lower numbers to demographics, income and education levels.
“Some of the counties that have higher vaccination rates also have older populations so its possible that the older populations were among the first to get vaccinated. Older populations are also more likely to get vaccinated anyway. We see that during flu seasons and with other vaccines that people over 65 just generally want to be vaccinated,” said Hayla Folden, the Media Relations Specialist for District 4 Public Health.
28% of Forsyth County is fully vaccinated compared to Troup County which is only 17%.
According to Folden, individuals with lower incomes and lower levels of education are also less likely to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
53% of Forsyth County has achieved a bachelors degree while only 19% of Troup County’s population has received one. The median household income in Forsyth County is over $100,000 and in Troup County it is about $45,000, according to the U.S. Census.
District 4 Public Health is also implementing new strategies to educate people on the vaccines and make them easier to receive. They are visiting people at their places of work and educating them on the vaccines as well as, offering the vaccines on site.
The health department has also partnered with the organization Core. Core has a small group of vaccinators that will visit organizations like churches and food banks and offer vaccinations. The vaccinations will be easier to receive by going to frequently visited placed by the community.
District 4 Public Health is starting to see COVID-19 numbers begin to rise again. The organization is expecting a surge of cases within the next few weeks. If the cases become widespread it will be due to public events, travel and the low number of vaccinations.
Holmes Pharmacies was among the first in LaGrange to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines back in January. However, they have seen a slow decrease in people getting vaccinated since then. The demographic they have been assisting has been mainly 65 and over.
“Its been very consistent up until recently we’ve seen the numbers start dropping off. We’re doing less per day, we’re having to try to find people to get the vaccine to use it up to use it up for the day,” said Perry Prather, Owner and Pharmacist at Holmes Pharmacy.
Prather said he believes the numbers have dropped because of lack of education about the vaccines. He also believes the younger generation is scared to receive any vaccinations. He credits that to all the information being released very quickly and Johnson & Johnson pulling their product from shelves at one point as well.
The pharmacies have been administering the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. They have been promoting the vaccinations both in the stores and on social media.
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