Covid cases on the rise as vaccination rate remains stagnant
There have been eight new cases of covid-19 over the past week, according to data from the state’s July 15 Weekly Public Health Report.
Wareham’s average daily incidence rate increased from 0.3 to 2.4 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. This means the number of new cases of covid-19 each day over the past two weeks is on the rise.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,756 coronavirus cases in Wareham.
The town’s vaccination rate lags behind other Massachusetts communities. According to the state’s July 15 data, only 51 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. That amounts to 12,402 people — up just 55 people from last week.
About two months ago, state data indicated that 46 percent of residents (or 11,141 people) had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. In the time since, only 1,261 additional residents have received at least their first vaccine.
Only 47 percent of Wareham residents — 11,474 people — are fully vaccinated.
Compared to last week, the town’s vaccination rate has remained stagnant, with 51 percent of residents having received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine and 47 of residents full vaccinated.
Of the 27 municipalities in Plymouth County reporting vaccination data to the state, Wareham has reported the second-lowest percentage of individuals with at least one dose. Only Middleborough had a lower percentage of individuals with at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, at 50 percent.
Every other municipality in Plymouth County reported that at least 55 percent or more of its population had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
Opportunities to get vaccinated
People aged 12 or older who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to be vaccinated against covid-19. Those over the age of 18 can sign up to receive any vaccine, but those ages 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.
Local public health experts continue to encourage people to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
Southcoast Health has no upcoming vaccine clinics scheduled for the Wareham Multiservice Center, but hosts regular clinics at the Vanity Fair Clinic in Dartmouth.
Those interested in getting vaccinated through Southcoast can now sign-up as slots are available, either through their MyChart account or at www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling/, which does not require a MyChart account.
For times and locations of upcoming walk-up clinics, visit: https://www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccination/.
Those eligible for the vaccine can find appointments at other providers around the state using the state’s website vaxfinder.mass.gov.
The state has also set up a call center for those who are eligible for the vaccine but are unable to access the vaccine appointment website or who have trouble navigating the complex online system.
From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, people can call 211 and navigate to the vaccine help line by pressing two when prompted. The call center has workers on staff who speak English and Spanish, and there are translators available to support residents in about 100 additional languages.
VaxMillions Giveaway incentive
In an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the state has planned a VaxMillions Giveaway. Each week, two fully-vaccinated Massachusetts residents will win big. One adult over the age of 18 will win $1 million, and one teen between the ages of 12 and 17 will win a $300,000 scholarship grant.
The first drawing will be held on July 29, with the deadline to enter on July 22. Those who enter in time for the first drawing will stay in the running for all five drawings (or until they win).
For more information or to enter, go to www.vaxmillionsgiveaway.com.
For additional information about the available covid-19 vaccines, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/ or talk to your doctor.