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The COVID-19 Virus surge caused by the Delta Variant is all but over, with positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths drastically dropping among Texans. 

Despite the good news, Texas has also seen a large decrease in COVID vaccinations. This is significant because 99.5 percent of the deaths reported since February have been among the unvaccinated, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

As of Oct. 28, 60.8 percent (17.7 million) of Texans have received at least one dose, and 52.9 percent (15.4 million) are fully vaccinated. There have been a total of 33.2 million doses given to Texans, including 1.3 million booster shots.

Vaccine doses have seen a dramatic decrease over the last 30 days. An average of 35,967 vaccines was reported each day in the last month. This is a decrease of 27,985 doses per day.

Wharton County has lagged behind the state in vaccinations administered. 

“We continue to stress the importance of wearing our masks - especially indoors, maintaining a safe distance, washing our hands or using hand sanitizer frequently and getting vaccinated,” Wharton County Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Debbie Cenko said. “There is an abundance of vaccines available.”

Of the eligible population in Wharton County, there have been 40,170 vaccines administered. 52.84 percent (21,957) have received at least one dose, and 45.68 percent (18,980) are fully vaccinated.

The first death linked to the COVID in Texas occurred March 15, 2020 in neighboring Matagorda County. As of Oct. 28, 69,668 people who tested positive for the virus have died in Texas.

“The COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against variants. Like any vaccine, COVID-19 vaccines do not stop 100% of cases,” TDSHS said in a statement. “But fully vaccinated people are less likely to be infected. They are also protected from severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”

In August and September, 9,000 Texans died, with almost 40 percent of them under 60. Of those thousands that died, only 43 were vaccinated. 

On Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5-11. The request was approved on Friday and will make almost 2.9 million more Texans eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. 

The emergency use request for 5-11 year olds comes after months of clinical trials proved the vaccine provided the same immune response for children as it did for adults, according to Pfizer.

The trial enrolled more than 4,500 children ages six months to 11 years of age in the United States, Spain, Finland and Poland. It was designed to evaluate the tolerability, safety and immune response of the Pfizer vaccine.

The FDA panel voted 17-0 with one abstention to recommend emergency use of the vaccine. The approval will help get the state closer to herd immunity.

 

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