Only one-third of county residents ages 12 to 19 have initiated the vaccination process, Page said.
“That’s the lowest vaccination rate of all of our age groups,” he said. “With our overall case numbers going up, and the delta variant threatening our county, it’s critical we get young people vaccinated before school returns in August.”
While Page lamented the teen vaccination rate in the county, the rate in rural areas is even lower, according to a report released Wednesday by Deloitte Consulting, a firm hired by the state of Missouri.
In the state’s urban counties, 26.3% of children ages 12 to 17 have received a dose of vaccine, compared with just 6.9% in rural counties, the report found.
Cases among teens have played a key role in recent outbreaks. The surge in Missouri’s cases began in northern Linn and Livingston counties in late May, which Linn County Health Department director Krista Neblock partly blamed on area students from five high schools spending several hours together on senior trip bus rides to either Kansas City or St. Louis.
The following weekends brought high school graduation ceremonies and parties where many were experiencing symptoms but attended events anyway, Neblock said.
In St. Joseph Health, where immunization rates also are low and hospital numbers are on the rise, the health department announced that people can walk in during clinic hours to get the vaccine at one of its locations starting Thursday, the St. Joseph News-Press reports.
Originally Appeared Here