El Paso, TX

With Dangerously High COVID Rates, People are Skipping Their Vaccine Appointments

Tom Handy

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El Paso COVID-19 COVID photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The COVID-19 vaccine is available for El Paso residents but some are skipping their appointments. Some people are getting their vaccine but others are not getting their vaccine or delaying their appointment.

While we’ve been successful in getting 57% of the community over the age of 16 vaccinated with a first dose, 75% is where we’d like to be for herd immunity as a community. We want everyone to feel comfortable with it. We want them to realize that it’s going to Help the community, it's going to help us get back to that normal,” said El Paso Fire Chief, Mario D’Agostino.

According to Fire Chief D’Agostino, he said 57% of eligible people in El Paso have received their first dose of the vaccine. El Paso’s goal is to vaccinate 75% of the community.

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El Paso COVID-19 VaccineScreenshot from El Paso Matters

When you compare it to the other larger cities in the state of Texas, El Paso is actually doing really well. We’re still a good 5 to 6 percentage points above those communities as far as the number of people vaccinated with at least the first dose,” said D’Agostino.

The Health Department estimates that 60% of El Pasoans have received at least one vaccine shot.

Local resident Sylvester Costello said, “I figured, what the heck, it can’t hurt me. They sent me a letter and advised me that I had this appointment. If I wanted it fine, if I didn't, that was up to me.”

Registration is not hard to do these days. For El Pasoans, they can easily register online or over the phone. There are many times and dates for them to pick based on their schedule.

If you have a disability and no means to travel to a testing location, you can contact SunMetro at 915-212-3304 to determine your eligibility. See what nearby locations are closest to you to receive the COVID vaccine.

As of Sunday, there were 2,508 deaths related to the coronavirus.

An additional 96 cases were reported with a total of 2,382 active infections. El Paso has had 133,336 confirmed cases.

The city reported 171 El Pasoans hospitalized with Covid-related illness. Hospitals have 50 patients in intensive care and 30 patients requiring the use of ventilators.

El Paso Matter CEO Bob Moore said, "even as vaccines are increasingly available, the number of new Covid-19 infections in El Paso has remained stuck for six weeks."

In his weekly analysis, he added, "The number of people requiring hospital care for Covid-19 is where it was at the beginning of April."

Shown here are the COVID-19 vaccinations by age group.

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El Paso vaccinations by age groupScreenshot from El Paso Matters

The vaccine has been available for people under the age of 50 with health conditions or who work in health-related jobs since December. Fewer than half of these people have received at least one COVID vaccine.

Recent COVID-19 cases

Recent cases of people who have COVID-19 were primarily in one age group. Bob Moore reported 70% of the recent COVID cases were people under the age of 40.

Last year, El Pasoans under the age of 40 represented about 54% of the COVID cases. Those who are over the age of 60 recorded 17% of COVID cases in 2020 and were 8% of the cases last week.

An increase in the number of people over the age of 65 has been getting their vaccine shot. Approximately 70% of people over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated.

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COVID hospitalizations and ICU Screenshot from El Paso Matters

Overall, the number of COVID cases requiring hospitalizations had been declining but started to increase again in April.

On a positive note, the number of people in El Paso dying from COVID is the lowest since last summer.

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