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As Delta Variant Cases Rise In Lubbock, Vaccination Rates Stagnate

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While new variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge in Lubbock, vaccination rates have become stagnant. Just over 40% of Lubbock residents have been fully vaccinated -- that’s less than Texas’ vaccinated population, which is trailing behind the rest of the United States.

The slowing trend is concerning to public health officials, especially as cases of the new Delta variant of the virus have begun to surface in the area. According to Lubbock’s director of public health, last month the city saw seven cases of the Delta variant. So far this month there have been six.

“That’s a concern because, where we’re seeing outbreaks is among unvaccinated individuals,” Katherine Wells said, “and that leaves Lubbock county and this area of the country at risk for outbreaks.”

She stressed that the pandemic is not over. The more contagious Delta variant is predicted to become the prominent one in the U.S. by the end of the summer and Wells expects the same in Lubbock.

According to Wells, the vaccines’ protection against this variant is slightly less than the others. Recent data showed that among cases of people infected with the Delta variant, 61% were not vaccinated at all, 8% had incomplete vaccination and 30% were vaccinated.

While vaccinated people are still at risk of infections, Wells explained that recent COVID-19 related hospitalizations and deaths in the city have been among the unvaccinated population.

The city’s health department is continuing their targeted efforts to distribute the vaccine.

“We encourage people, if you’re running by the drug store, go get your vaccine. It should be easy, no cost,” Wells said.

Lubbock’s health department has ongoing vaccine clinics around the city. Visit their website for more information and to schedule an appointment.