HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Nearly 40% of Texans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the number of people getting their first shot has hit a plateau.
Nearly 75% of people 65 and over are fully vaccinated in Texas, other age ranges are lagging behind.
“It’s the younger population. Those people that are resistant to getting vaccinated because they don’t see the impact, either because they feel they’re not at risk, or they feel like their parents and grandparents, those people that are in contact, have already been vaccinated,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez, the Hidalgo County Health Authority.
Health experts have been targeting 70 to 90% of the population getting fully vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity, but it’s unlikely we reach the upper amount.
“You’ll see areas more protected. So you’re going to see pockets of that herd immunity, but it’s very unlikely that entire states or the country will reach that,” said Dr. James Castillo, the Cameron County Health Authority.
All three vaccines available in the United States are given out under emergency use authorization, so there have been questions about the safety of the vaccines. The CDC said that the COVID-19 vaccines are undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
“I think that there’s been a lot of transparency about any of the issues that have been encountered with the vaccines, and if anything an abundance of caution. I think everybody needs to weigh that against the obvious risks of COVID,” said Castillo.
Both Pfizer and Moderna have both applied for full authorization from the FDA, Pfizer in May and Moderna at the start of June.
“I’m, quite frankly, surprised that from a federal level the FDA has not granted that, but I would bet that happens within the near future,” said Melendez.
All three companies are working on trials to show how safe and effective the vaccines are in children.
The Rio Grande Valley continues to have one of the highest percentages of fully vaccinated people in the entire state with over 70% of the population fully vaccinated.