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Austin reaches target vaccination rate, but …

Thursday, July 8, 2021 by Tai Moses

Austin Public Health has topped its goal of protecting 70 percent of residents over 12 years old with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, “60.8 percent of eligible Travis County residents have been fully vaccinated, and 70 percent have received at least one dose.” However, health officials say we’re not out of the woods yet. The emergence of the Delta variant “has prompted a reassessment of the minimum threshold for herd immunity as health experts call on communities and neighborhoods to help boost vaccination rates,” according to a news release. Austin-Travis County Health Authority Desmar Walkes said, “We continue to monitor our case numbers and hospital admissions as we know that there will be an impact on these due to the presence of the Delta variant. We will make adjustments in our recommendations accordingly. At the same time, the situation calls for everyone taking responsibility for themselves and determining their own level of risk.” Unvaccinated pockets of the population remain susceptible to being infected, leading to more dangerous mutations of the virus. Yesterday, Austin Public Health reported 159 new Covid cases “along with an increasing positivity rate of 4.3 percent,” Walkes said. “We are beginning to see an increase in Covid-19 cases in Travis County, similar to what has been seen in other parts of the country.”

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