In a span of about one month, the number of people in Hardin County to have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine has climbed nearly 9 percent – about 9,700 people, according to a Kentucky Public Health website.
On May 4, the percentage of Hardin County’s estimated population of 108,095 that had at least a first dosage was 31.54 percent. As of Wednesday afternoon, that percentage had climbed to 40.07.
The rise in percentage of people seeking out a COVID-19 vaccine was not unexpected, said Terrie Burgan, health promotion manager and public information officer for the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.
“We did expect some vaccine hesitancy which would account for the slow increase,” she said. “However, we are hopeful that as individuals continue to learn about the benefits of the vaccine and misinformation is corrected that vaccine hesitancy will decrease.”
With widespread vaccine availability, Burgan has said that too, will help drive the percentage higher.
Vaccinations were available this week, for instance, at a McDonald’s at 125 The Loop near Interstate 65 in Elizabethtown. Inoculations continue from 3 to 7 p.m. today and Saturday at the restaurant with a card good for a free meal being given as an incentive. Also, there’s an industrial park vaccine center from 6 a.m. to noon and 2 to 8 p.m. today in the parking lot of Metalsa at 750 N. Black Branch Road in Elizabethtown.
Hardin County and many surrounding counties remain well below the state percentage of people who have been fully vaccinated or at least received the first dose of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, according to the website.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the state level was 46 percent – a jump of around 5 percent in the last month for the overall population. LaRue County is at 31.63 percent for its estimated 14,156 residents and Meade County is at 29.57 percent for its estimated population of 28,326 people.
County population figures are based on 2018 Census estimates, according to the state site.
Of the 43,316 Hardin County residents vaccinated, 12,739 are 65 and older. In fact, 89.33 percent of the county’s 65 and older population has been vaccinated either fully or started the process, according to the site. The county’s total adult population – defined as older than 18 – is 51.05 vaccinated as of Wednesday. The state level for 18 and older is 57 percent.
“Every person who decides to get a COVID vaccine helps limit the spread of the virus, protects the unvaccinated, and moves us closer to herd immunity,” Burgan previously said.
Burgan has said at least 70 percent of the population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, a level said to make person-to-person transmission of a disease unlikely.
The latest figures available from Kentucky Public Health say there have been 9,857 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Hardin County since March 2020 and 167 local residents have died from COVID-19 complications.