By Adam Strunk
More than half of Harvey County residents 16 or older have received at least one vaccine and almost half are fully vaccinated.
The Harvey County Health Department released new vaccination numbers this week at their regular health press conference.
For now, 52.53 percent of those over 16 have had at least one dose, good enough for seventh in the state of Kansas. Another 46.4 percent of those over 16 are fully vaccinated ranking sixth in the state.
“Keep getting vaccinated Harvey County,” said Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington.
It would take between 70-75 percent of the population to be vaccinated before Harvey County would hit the herd immunity threshold needed to totally prevent COVID-19’s spread.
The Pfizer vaccine recently won FDA approval to be used for children ages 12-15 and will likely be approved by the Centers for Disease Control later this week, opening up an additional population for vaccination.
COVID-19 cases dropped in the county from last week, though the percentage of positive tests out of those tested as a whole increased.
The county had 18 new cases during the week and has 18 current active cases, down 11 from last week’s total of 29.
Sixteen of the 18 (88 percent) new cases involved people not fully vaccinated. Two were. The two cases involving people fully vaccinated have been mild, Redington said.
Three remain hospitalized. Redington said their ages range from 40-60. She said two of those cases have been for longer than two weeks. Redington said the one hospitalized patient that the health department has been able to investigate was not vaccinated.
Redington also said that the county now has had seven cases of the more contagious UK variant, found among COVID-19 patients.
The percent positive rate in the county increased this week from 2.94 to 3.18 percent.