Region’s vaccination rate continues to outpace states’

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Nearly 50,000 regionwide have now received at least first dose

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The News Channel 11 viewing area is closing in on the 50,000 mark in the race to vaccinate people and help halt the spread of COVID-19.

And both Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia continue to exceed their states’ rate in percentage of people vaccinated in what has been a difficult and cumbersome rollout nationwide.

Data from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) show that as of Monday, 7.2 percent of Northeast Tennesseans had received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s 61 percent higher than the statewide rate of 4.46 percent.

Washington County ranked third of 95 counties at 9.35 percent and Sullivan was 9th at 8.12 percent. No other county of more than 100,000 people ranked in the top 30.

Washington County also ranks first in the percentage of people fully vaccinated (1.69 percent) and Sullivan ranks 6th at 1.12 percent. Counties with larger populations are faring much better in this category.

Statewide, just 0.74 percent of Tennesseans have been fully vaccinated.

The situation is similar in Virginia, though at lower baseline levels. The commonwealth’s rate of administering the vaccine is roughly 40 percent lower than Tennessee’s.

Virginia’s statewide percentage of people with at least one dose of vaccine as of Monday is 3.14 percent. Southwest Virginia’s total is 5.21 percent.

Smyth County is highest in the Southwest Virginia region at 6.42 percent. Washington County, Va. (including Bristol) is at 5.85 percent.

The numbers are a welcome disparity for a region that has been harder hit by COVID deaths than Virginia as a whole.

Through Tuesday morning, Southwest Virginia had suffered 143 deaths per 100,000 population for the entirety of the pandemic. That’s more than double the statewide rate of 68 deaths per 100,000.

Northeast Tennessee also has a higher rate of COVID deaths per 100,000 than the state — 153 compared to 122.

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