WACO, Texas — McLennan County reached a major vaccine milestone this week. As of Thursday, 100,000 people are fully vaccinated.
This means that 46.5 percent of those 12 years old and older are now considered fully vaccinated. That's a welcome number for local health leaders after a summer slowdown in June and July.
Demand has picked up again. Since the beginning of August more than 10,000 people have received their last dose.
"The fact that 100,000 people in McLennan County is something that I'm celebrating because I trust doctors who have devoted their lives to the study of medicine and believe that this is a good thing for our community," said Waco Mayor Dillon Meek.
While numbers are trending up, McLennan County's vaccination rates are still relatively low compared to the state as a whole, which is about 58.6 percent fully vaccinated.
As of Friday, Waco's trauma service area, area M, which includes McLennan and some surrounding counties, has the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the state.
34.1 percent of all those hospitalized in the area are COVID-19 patients.
"Our hospitals are full. With the majority of people being unvaccinated--over 90 percent, 90 to 95 percent every day," said Kelly Craine, communications lead for the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.
The health district says vaccines are part of the long-term strategy to provide protection for months and years to come.
Mayor Meek says if people are still uncomfortable with the shot, talking to someone they trust might help.
"Talk to your local doctor if you're still on the fence about this, just like you would any other health issue. Get their counsel and make a plan to get vaccinated," Meek said.
County leaders are hopeful that the area will see the number of fully vaccinated people grow even faster in the coming weeks.