LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Director of Public Health Katherine Wells was pleased to see data showing that Lubbock County’s vaccinated population is more than double the statewide average.
The state’s dashboard shows Lubbock County’s vaccination percentage, of those eligible, is at 12.35% percent, while on average, 5.5% of eligible Texans have gotten the vaccine.
Wells attributes this to high numbers of people on the South Plains showing up to the Civic Center for their appointments, thanks to easy accessibility to the Civic Center and diligent work from the staff, saying 3,000 people received their first or second shots at Thursday’s clinic.
“Definitely excited. It was a very busy clinic,” Wells said.
She says this success brings us one step closer to reaching herd immunity, a point when the majority of the population in an area is protected from the virus, making it unlikely to spread.
She says a group reaches herd immunity when people are naturally immune, like those who have already gotten COVID, or when people are vaccinated. Experts say 70 to 80 percent need to be immune to reach herd immunity for COVID-19.
“Having more people who aren’t susceptible to the disease... that can kind of put in those barriers, so that virus doesn’t spread very quickly throughout the community.”
“What we saw initially in nursing homes was no herd immunity, no immunity to COVID. You bring in one or more COVID-infected people and everyone is sick.”
Wells is hoping to boost herd immunity by continuing this rapid pace of vaccination, hoping to increase shipments to 10,000 vaccinations a week. Right now, the Health Department administers 5,000 a week.
On Thursday, Governor Abbott said he is looking at when to lift COVID state mandates such as masks and restrictions on businesses, restaurants, and bars.
Katherine Wells said this decision is up to the governor and state, and although the governor is writing new rules, she is still a mask advocate.
“We still need to wear masks. It’s important. It’s a good public health measure,” she said.