As new daily COVID-19 cases fall, vaccination rates continue to rise in Lafayette County. Last week, the county reached a celebratory milestone of 50% of the population being fully vaccinated. The milestone marks a halfway point in what has been a long struggle across the nation to encourage people to immunize themselves against the virus that has been ravaging our country for over a year.
As of Oct. 15, 50% — or 26,917 — Lafayette County residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having received two shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Lafayette County exceeds vaccination rates in Mississippi, where 42% of Misissippians have been fully vaccinated. The county falls just behind the national vaccination rate of 57%, according to USAFacts.
Oxford and Lafayette County are beginning to reflect the public’s confidence that things are getting better. The City of Oxford lifted the city-wide mask mandate on Sept. 28. Starting this week, Oxford School District no longer requires masks, The Oxford Eagle reported.
The situation is improving statewide as well, though we are not out of the woods yet as State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs explained in a tweet last week.
“Stable cases, but still too many deaths. We have lost too many to COVID in MS. We have the tools to prevent these deaths,” he said.
— thomas dobbs (@TCBPubHealth) October 12, 2021
Though 42% statewide and 50% in Lafayette County represent a large number of immunized individuals, the percentages still fall well below that which is needed for herd-immunity to take effect, protecting those who are immunocompromised or unable to be vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 booster shots are widely available at multiple locations in and around Oxford, including on the University of Mississippi campus at Johnson Commons.