If you haven’t already, get vaccinated now

coronavirus image -- a white sphere with red corona spikes emanating outwardThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (public domain image)

The overwhelming medical evidence and advice is that you should get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccination not only slows the spread of the disease and helps prevent the vaccinated individual from falling victim to COVID-19, but in those instances when a fully vaccinated person gets COVID-19, there is evidence it reduces the symptoms.

Yet according to the most recent figures from the Georgia Department of Public Health, only 41 percent of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Cobb County number is slightly better at 48 percent fully vaccinated, but not nearly enough to help establish herd immunity. The American Lung Association estimates that the vaccination levels would need to be between 70 and 90 percent to reach herd immunity.

How to get vaccinated

While early after development of the vaccines the scarcity of doses caused scheduling backlogs and delays, appointments are now readily available.

If you are in Cobb County a good resource is the Cobb & Douglas Public Health vaccination page. CDPH offers the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only one approved for children aged 12-17, so all eligible family members can get vaccinated.

You can also check the Georgia Department of Public Health vaccine page. They have a scheduling resource line, and we’ve reprinted the contact information below:

Health Department Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line

(888) 457-0186

Monday – Friday 8 AM – 8 PM ET

Saturday – Sunday 8 AM – 5 PM ET

Why it’s so critical to get vaccinated now

Both statewide and in Cobb County we have been experiencing an intense spike in COVID-19 cases, driven by the rapid spread of the delta variant of the virus.

Cobb County is now at a 14-day case rate of 399 per 100,000, four times the threshold of high community transmission.

This spike in cases has been affecting all age groups, unlike earlier versions of the disease which was concentrated among the older population.

In addition to protecting yourself, every vaccinated person contributes to the long-term chances of the population developing herd immunity from the disease, at which point things will be really back to normal.