San Juan County COVID-19 vaccination rates decline with teens added to calculations
Three zip codes still have 100 percent vaccination rate
- Seven of the 10 zip codes in San Juan County on Aug. 8 saw a decline in the percent of the population which is fully vaccinated, according to New Mexico Department of Health.
- Rita Abboud, a certified nurse practitioner at the San Juan County Public Health Office in Farmington, told The Daily Times the new vaccination data is a more accurate look at our county.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now classified San Juan County as having high level of community transmission of COVID-19.
FARMINGTON — Most of the ZIP Codes in San Juan County show a drop in COVID-19 vaccination rates this week after the state added teenagers 12 to 17 years old to the calculations, giving a more accurate snapshot of how parts of the county are performing.
The new data comes as state health officials brace for a new surge of COVID-19 cases due to the highly-contagious Delta variant, which causes an increase of spread across the county.
Seven of the 10 ZIP Codes in San Juan County on Aug. 8 saw a decline in the percent of the population which is fully vaccinated, according to New Mexico Department of Health.
The biggest drop was Fruitland with the 87416 ZIP Code, which dropped about 15 and a half percentage points from 100 percent to 84.53 percent.
The second biggest drop was in the 87401 ZIP Code in Farmington, as the vaccination rate dropped 6.39 percentage points from 58.54 percent to 52.15 percent.
Bloomfield (87413) had the third-biggest drop from 58.54 percent to 52.15 percent, sliding back 5.69 percentage points.
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Three ZIP Codes which previously reported 100 percent vaccination rates, Kirtland (87418), Shiprock (87420) and Waterflow (87421), maintained their numbers while adding the teens.
Both Fruitland and the 87401 ZIP Code made large jumps from July 12 to July 19 before the data change with Fruitland increasing almost 19 percentage points to 100 percent and 87401 up about nine percentage points to 58.54 percent.
Rita Abboud, a certified nurse practitioner at the San Juan County Public Health Office in Farmington, told The Daily Times the new vaccination data is a more accurate look at our county.
She added it was especially important as K-12 students return to the classroom as the highly-contagious Delta variant is causing a new surge in COVID-19 cases, according to New Mexico health officials.
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One positive piece of news for Abboud was the administration of 91 COVID-19 vaccine doses during an Aug. 4 event at Farmington Municipal Schools.
“It surprised us, we had to go back to the office to get more vaccine, it was great,” Abboud said.
The news of the decline in county vaccination rates comes as the state believes a new surge of COVID-19 cases are approaching due in part to the Delta variant.
Health officials say their modeling indicates New Mexico could see upward of 1,000 daily new cases by the end of the month, the Daily Times reported on Aug. 15. The state on Friday put out a call for licensed volunteers to join the state's Medical Reserve Corps.
The Delta variant is not only more contagious, but it could possibly cause more severe illness for unvaccinated members of the public.
A San Juan County COVID-19 community stakeholder conference call has been re-instituted by the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, Abboud said.
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“It was very encouraging to hear from representatives from all of the cities within the county, that they are very on board with trying to improve our vaccination rates and really promote (COVID-19) vaccination,” Abboud said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has now classified San Juan County as having high level of community transmission of COVID-19, as the county has 129.88 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, according to CDC data.
The Daily Times reported on July 31 that the county had substantial transmission, or more than 50 cases per 100,000 people.
The area hospital has also seen an increase in COVID-19 patients. San Juan Regional Medical Center reported 29 COVID-19 patients on Aug. 13, an increase from seven on July 29.
Between the San Juan County Fair and the Connie Mack World Series, Abboud was concerned about a rise in COVID-19 case numbers from the two large events featuring multiple mass gatherings.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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