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As age restrictions lessen, fewer Holmes and Washington County residents are being vaccinated

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:08 PM CDT
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CHIPLEY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some rural counties in our area are working together to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the public.

“This is a joint effort between Holmes and Washington County Health Departments along with the Holmes and Washington County Board of Commissioners,” Sandy Martin, Interim Administrator for Holmes and Washington County Health Departments, said. “They built us this beautiful pull-barn here for us to come through with several lines.”

Rain or shine, this site in Chipley distributes between 400 and 600 Moderna vaccines every week. Even though these counties are less populated than others, health care workers are still eager to get vaccines out to the masses.

“I think it’s actually been much easier getting it out to rural areas because our teams are small but they’re mighty,” Martin said. “They hit the fore front running, we don’t have as high a demand it seems as in other areas.”

But, lessened age restrictions have also meant fewer county residents are getting vaccinated.

“We have vaccinated more than 60 percent of our local citizens in that age group 65 plus,” said Martin. “As the groups get younger, there is a diminished demand for vaccine.”

Despite the weather, your age, or where you live; some residents said there is always a reason to do your part.

“Mainly I took the first (shot) one after my son passed away from COVID,” Holmes County Resident Mary Etheridge said. “Then between that one and this one, my daughter passed away. My two older children.”

Some residents feel this vaccine can make a difference. “I don’t want anybody in my position if they can keep from it,” Etheridge said. “It’s not been a pleasant thing.”

As of now, Holmes and Washington Counties combined have distributed about 12,000 vaccines.

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