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Lawrence health officials: About 1/4 of new COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people

Although most cases of COVID-19 reported to the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department since July 1 were among people who were eligible to be vaccinated but were not, about 1 in 4 were in partially or fully vaccinated people, according to a Friday news release.

However, the health department has not received any reports of a Douglas County resident who was fully vaccinated needing to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

“The vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and especially protecting those most vulnerable,” the release stated. “Breakthrough infections are normal and occur with other vaccines, but the key is the vaccines have been effective at reducing chances for severe illness and complications due to COVID-19.”

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Public health leaders are pushing to increase the numbers of those fully vaccinated as the more-contagious delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread. LDCPH on Friday said the increase in new cases was likely attributable to the delta variant.

The numbers of new cases are nowhere near what they were during the peak of the pandemic, but 53 new cases have been reported since July 1, according to the health department. Of those, 33 individuals were eligible to be vaccinated but had not yet received it. Six cases involved people too young to get the current vaccines, which have been approved for use in anyone age 12 and older.

Of the remaining 14 new cases, LDCPH did not provide the exact numbers, but from a pie chart, it appears that one or two people were partially vaccinated, and 12 or 13 people were fully vaccinated.

“Partners are very concerned about the populations in our community with lower rates of vaccination. This includes those under the age of 35 and people who live outside the zip code 66049,” the news release said. “Partners are also working diligently to increase access to the vaccine among people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color to ensure everyone in the community is protected against COVID-19.”

The county is offering free gift cards to anyone who gets a saliva test or COVID-19 vaccine at an event Saturday. Read more about that here.

In addition, anyone interested in booking a vaccine appointment or learning more about incentives for getting vaccinated can visit this link. Businesses and organizations interested in LDCPH providing a vaccine clinic or COVID testing on site can make a request at this link.

In Douglas County, 52.33% of eligible people have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series, and 58.5% has received at least one dose, according to LDCPH.

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