(07/18/2021)
By Bob Weaver

The current drop in COVID-19 in the US has relieved a lot of tension.

Now, Covid-19 cases are rising in all 50 states.

Still, we find Braxton and Calhoun County are among the worst counties in WV to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Calhoun has only 11.95% fully vaccinated, according to a study by research group Stacker.

West Virginia's vaccination rate compared to the US is lagging.

Although State of WV official numbers for the state are saying overall, fewer than half of West Virginians are fully vaccinated. That number today was 866,350 state residents, or 48 percent. Fifty-eight percent of state residents have received at least one dose.

As has been true throughout America’s COVID-19 history, every state—and every county therein has its own COVID-19 story, driven by politics, policies and behaviors.

The United States as of July 8 had reached 606,616 COVID-19-related deaths, among the worst outcomes in the world, with more than 33.8 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Political and social memes widely circulated in the US (the Herald has received over 200 of them) supports misinformation and conspiracy theories, most of them originate from about 10 sources. They have continued to be widely circulated in West Virginia.

Most of the memes use standard propaganda models, first essentially telling a truth, then adding a half-truth and ending with a lie. Some of them do point to factual accounts of problems connected to various vaccines, while others are blatantly untrue.

Historically, the US has stood up to take vaccines that eliminated Diphtheria, Polio, Whooping Cough, Chicken Pox, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Hepatitis A-B, and virtually eliminating Typhoid Fever, among others.

With the exponentially growth of political web sites and the country now being run by social media, the truth, or facts, may not stand a chance.

It is fascinating that governors are offering million dollar bonuses to lottery winners for taking the vaccine. It appears that Gov. Jim Justices million dollar lotteries have hit a dead end.

Research group Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in West Virginia using data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

WV counties are ranked by vaccination rate as of July 8, 2021. In West Virginia, 38.6% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, compared to 48.2% nationwide. Roane and Wirt not included in the study.

The Center for Disease Control says 99.2% of recent COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. involved un-vaccinated people.

Dr. Anthony Fauci cited several reasons for opposition to the vaccine by some Americans: “ideological” or some people “are just fundamentally anti-vax or anti-science.”

The U.S. is “very fortunate” that it has “enough vaccines to vaccinate essentially everybody in the country," Fauci said. "And there are people throughout the world who would do anything to get vaccines.”

He said it is a"tragic" situation that could easily be remedied.

#43. Braxton County

– Population that is fully vaccinated: 11.6% (1,618 fully vaccinated) — 69.9% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Population over 65 that is fully vaccinated: 22.1% (729 fully vaccinated) — 68.4% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 36 (5 total deaths) — 77.8% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 7,308 (1,020 total cases) — 20.3% less cases per 100k residents than West Virginia

#42. Calhoun County

– Population that is fully vaccinated: 11.9% (847 fully vaccinated) — 69.2% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Population over 65 that is fully vaccinated: 20.4% (371 fully vaccinated) — 70.8% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 14 (1 total deaths) — 91.4% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 5,570 (396 total cases) — 39.3% less cases per 100k residents than West Virginia

#34. Ritchie County

– Population that is fully vaccinated: 18.1% (1,728 fully vaccinated) — 53.1% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Population over 65 that is fully vaccinated: 37.9% (833 fully vaccinated) — 45.8% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 115 (11 total deaths) — 29.0% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 7,976 (762 total cases) — 13.0% less cases per 100k residents than West Virginia

#25. Clay County

– Population that is fully vaccinated: 21.4% (1,818 fully vaccinated) — 44.6% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Population over 65 that is fully vaccinated: 38.9% (701 fully vaccinated) — 44.3% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 129 (11 total deaths) — 20.4% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 6,382 (543 total cases) — 30.4% less cases per 100k residents than West Virginia .9% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 146 (10 total deaths) — 9.9% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 7,998 (547 total cases) — 12.8% less cases per 100k residents than West Virginia

#1. Gilmer County

– Population that is fully vaccinated: 37.6% (2,944 fully vaccinated) — 2.6% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Population over 65 that is fully vaccinated: 53.3% (739 fully vaccinated) — 23.7% lower vaccination rate than West Virginia – Cumulative deaths per 100k: 89 (7 total deaths) — 45.1% less deaths per 100k residents than West Virginia – Cumulative cases per 100k: 11,351 (888 total cases) — 23.8% more cases per 100k residents than West Virginia


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