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Health experts say unvaccinated young adults are to blame for COVID spread

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:52 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - COVID-19 is spreading yet again in North Carolina; the state surpassed 2 thousand cases over the weekend. A map from the NC Department of Health and Human Services shows what counties are being hit the hardest.

county alert system
county alert system(NCDHHS)

Pitt and Onslow counties, marked in orange, have “substantial” COVID spread, which means they have more cases, more positive tests and more of an impact on hospitals.

Health directors like Kristen Richmond-Hoover in Onslow County and Dr. John Silvernail in Pitt County say young, unvaccinated adults are partly to blame.

“In our over 65 population, more than 90% of those folks are fully vaccinated or have been covered by the vaccine. It’s those younger populations that are still problematic for us,” explained Hoover.

“The younger working adults...the 25-49-year-old age group,” clarified Silvernail.

Data from the CDC shows about 45% of people over 12 are fully vaccinated both in Onslow County and Pitt County. Silvernail said in younger age groups, that number is even lower.

Silvernail suggests that cohort could be motivated by convenient vaccination through employers.

“We’ve had success with that with a couple of fast-food restaurants here in Greenville where the managers said ‘hey, can you vaccinate our staff?’ and we did,” said Silvernail.

Vaccination efforts are still going on in both counties and both health experts urge everyone to get a vaccine in order to combat the virus.

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