More than half of the population eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has received it, said Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez.
“We’re around 55 percent, and that’s for ages 12 and up," she said. "That’s only for the eligible population, 11 and under is not eligible. I think we’re even doing at least as well as the whole United States, if not a little bit better."
Rodriguez said when including people who have received one vaccine, she estimates the number is closer to 65-70 percent of the eligible population.
One encouraging thing Rodriguez has seen is the increase in the number of people visiting the vaccine clinic at La Palmera Mall. She said in July, around 5,000 people received a vaccine at the clinic; in August, that number increased to more than 11,000.
“It showed a substantial increase, and I think that’s due to a spike in cases and a spike in hospitalizations,” she said.
One person at the vaccine clinic Thursday was Kim Brown. She is fully vaccinated, but was there with her son and daughter-in-law. Brown said she encouraged the two to get vaccinated, and said the increase in hospitalizations and deaths alarmed her.
“The rates are going up, and people are actually dying,” she said. “So far my whole family is wrapped up and vaccinated.”
Brown said seeing an increase in the number of people vaccinated in the area is encouraging.
“The trend is getting good for us; everyone’s getting in and getting their vaccinations, so that’s a wonderful thing,” she said.
Tyler Somersall was at La Palmera on Thursday. He said he hasn’t gotten vaccinated yet, but the increase in cases in the area has him leaning toward getting one.
“I should get it, because I know corona is affecting the community,” he said. “I want to get it now, I’ll probably get it tomorrow.”
Rodriguez said hospitalization rates have been declining, but are still high.
“We had such a big spike of cases, and a quick increase -- we were hoping it was going to get to the top and come right back down," she said. "That’s not happening, unfortunately. It got to the top, and now it’s kind of sloping down."
As of Thursday, Rodriguez said 324 people in the county were hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 102 of those people in the ICU. Included in those numbers are eight children who are hospitalized, two of those in the ICU and on ventilators.
Rodriguez said she hopes the county can get to 70 percent of the eligible population vaccinated before the next surge of cases, which she anticipates will be around January or February. She hopes people will continue to remain vigilant.
“We’ve learned some lessons, let’s take those lessons, utilize them to the max, and flatten the curve so we don’t lose anymore people to this virus,” Rodriguez said.