Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccination in the United States. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Central Texans have been fully vaccinated.
"Fast forward a year and we have over 50 percent of our community that has been fully vaccinated," said Waco-McLennan County Public Health District director LaShonda Malrey-Horne.
The health district received its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine on December 23, 2020.
The vaccine rollout in Texas began with frontline workers and since then, has extended to all people over the age of 5.
"That's progress," Malrey-Horne said. "Every month, there's something new that we're doing."
More than 250,000 people are fully vaccinated in Bell and McLennan Counties. Roughly half of the eligible population is vaccinated in Central Texas.
In McLennan County, COVID-19 cases are now less than 10 percent of what they were at the peak of the delta variant surge in late summer. The health district said while the surge was devastating, the vaccine likely saved thousands of lives.
"Who knows how devastating it would've been? It was really a hard surge for our county," Malrey-Horne said.
Health officials remain hopeful that that vaccine and other developing COVID-19 treatments will lead Central Texas even farther down the road in the battle against the virus in 2022.