‘Texas is in the lower half’ | Health experts warn of southern surge as COVID vaccinations plateau in Harris County
Approximately 48% of the population aged 12 and over in Harris County are fully vaccinated.
HOUSTON – The Americans are back on the road this summer. The Traffic safety authority screened a new record number of passengers on Sunday for the first time since the pandemic began.
The shops are busy and the masks are being taken off. But health experts warn COVID-19 is not history yet.
“We are definitely not finished yet” Dr. Peter Hotez said. “The pandemic is going to pay us a visit this summer, an unwanted visit, and we should expect some kind of southerly wave.”
That’s because the southern states are way behind when it comes to vaccination rates.
“Texas is in the bottom half. It’s not as bad as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, but it’s not where we want it to be,” Hotez said.
Approximately 56% of the Texas population aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 47% of eligible Texans are fully vaccinated.
“That demand has really decreased. It really slowed down, ”said Dr. Maria Rivera with Harris County Public Health.
Harris County is only slightly better. Approximately 58% of people 12 years and older have received a dose of the vaccine and 48% are fully vaccinated.
That said, even if you see most of the people in a grocery store without a mask, you can assume that about half are not vaccinated.
The positivity rate has dropped to around 4%, but with fewer people being tested, it is no longer the most accurate measure of community prevalence.
“Although the numbers are falling, we still have people dying from COVID in our community, but people are still being hospitalized in our community every day,” Rivera said.
For people who have not been vaccinated enough new delta variant is fueling the spread in the US and masks are now optional in many places, experts warn that there is likely to be a spread.
“There is no question that as the number of cases increases, many people are shedding the virus in our stores and restaurants,” said Hotez.
Experts said if you have kids under the age of 12 you should get them tested regularly during the summer. Since they cannot be vaccinated yet, they could unwittingly spread the virus throughout the community.