NC county’s residents concerned with 30% vaccination rate

North Carolina news

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) – Stanly County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. Meanwhile, people say if the percentage rate doesn’t rise more lives are at stake.

For most people eating inside Log Cabin BBQ off Highway 52, it’s back to life as normal. That’s because many of them said they’ve been fully vaccinated. Deane Fort pretty much knows everyone inside the restaurant. She has been a frequent customer for more than 20 years.

She said with the low vaccination rate and mistrust about the vaccine she hopes people will do what’s right for them. “I think people just don’t understand the importance. And I guess it’s just education,” Fort said. “We’re hearing some negative things about the vaccine now. But I think there’s more much more positive than there is negative.”

Right now, health officials in Stanly County say only 30 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated and 20,483 have received at least one shot — numbers Johnny Helms is concerned about.

He got his shot already and said he did it to protect his family against the virus that has killed more than 130 people in the county. He said he hopes people who have not been vaccinated continue to practice safety. “I wish more people would get vaccinated,” Helms said. “If people are not vaccinated then they need to wear a mask.”

Right now, efforts are underway to get more people protected. The state is offering the chance to win $1 million to people who got their shot already. The county is also stepping in and expanding a statewide incentive program offering a $25 gift card to people getting their first dose.

The program also includes Cleveland, Gaston, and Watauga counties. Incentives Forest Davis said could help but he doesn’t agree with. “I didn’t get an incentive when I went and got my vaccination,” Davis said. “My wife and my family. We did because we want to be free from the fear and the uncertainty and looking at the death rate around not just this country, but the world.”

Those interested in the program can visit or call 888-675-4567 to find a participating location. 

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