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67% of county’s eligible residents continue to remain unvaccinated

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Southwest Georgia and across the country, public health officials at Southwest Health District 8-2 strongly urge those who are unvaccinated to make plans to get their shot(s) now.

As of Wednesday, August 18, all fourteen counties in the Southwest Health Distinct are shaded dark red on the Georgia State Department of Health’s COVID spread rate map. Red is the color indicating the highest infection rate of COVID-19 in the state.

Over the past two weeks, Seminole County has now recorded 105 additional positive COVID-19 cases, and counties throughout Southwest Georgia continue to report massive increases in that same time period. Miller County has reported 83 new cases, Decatur County has had 217, Early County reported 152 additional new cases, and Grady reported 148. As of Wednesday, August 18, Seminole County has been recorded with a total of 899 positive cases of the virus and eighteen deaths since the pandemic began in March of 2020.

The number of COVID-19 cases is rising alarmingly, compared to the percentage of vaccinated residents, which is barely moving.

A glance at vaccination rates in south Georgia counties that have reddish shades on the state Public Health COVID map (indicating high infection rates) reveals that all but one are below the state’s average of 41 percent of residents with shots. 

As of Wednesday, August 16, only 33 percent of Seminole County’s eligible residents have been vaccinated – an increase of only one percent since August 2nd. 

Miller County’s vaccination rate is 40%, in Early County the rate is 36%, Decatur County it is 34%, and Grady County’s rate is 31% – tied with Colquitt County for the lowest vaccinated rate in the Southwest District.

“It is believed that the Delta variant is highly prevalent throughout Georgia,” says Charles Ruis, MD, District Health Director, Southwest Health District. “The best way to prevent a Covid-related death is to get vaccinated, and vaccines are widely available in our region.”

Ruis also notes that, compared to unvaccinated people, those fully vaccinated experience fewer Covid infections, experience less severe COVID infections, are less likely to die from a Covid infection, and may be less likely to spread COVID infections to others

The Seminole County Health Department and all health departments in the Southwest Public Health District have free COVID-19 vaccines for those 12 and older. Ages 18 and older can choose between the two dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines or the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Children 12 to 17 will receive Pfizer. 

If you have not been vaccinated, schedule yours by calling the Seminole County Health Department at 229-495-6590, or you can schedule yours online at

Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate. Get the vaccine, not COVID-19.

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