Wareham sees nearly 20 new covid cases in past week
For the fourth straight week, the number of new cases of covid-19 in Wareham rose over the past week, with 18 new cases recorded in the state’s July 29 Weekly Public Health Report.
Wareham’s average daily incidence rate increased from 5.9 to 9.7 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. Given Wareham’s population, 9.7 cases per 100,000 people means there were about 2.2 new cases each day over the past two weeks.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,789 coronavirus cases in Wareham.
The town’s vaccination rate lags behind other Massachusetts communities. According to the state’s July 29 data, only 52 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. That amounts to 12,590 people — up 115 people from last week.
Only 48 percent of Wareham residents — 11,616 people — are fully vaccinated.
Of 295 municipalities reporting data in Massachusetts, Wareham ranked 281 — or the 14th lowest — in terms of the percentage of individuals who’ve received at least one dose of a covid vaccine.
Of the 27 municipalities in Plymouth County reporting vaccination data to the state, Wareham has reported the second-lowest percentage of individuals with at least one dose. Only Middleborough had a lower percentage of individuals with at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, at 51 percent.
Every other municipality in Plymouth County reported that at least 56 percent or more of its population had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
Opportunities to get vaccinated
People aged 12 or older who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to be vaccinated against covid-19. Those over the age of 18 can sign up to receive any vaccine, but those ages 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.
Local public health experts continue to encourage people to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Southcoast Health’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Dani Hackner told Wareham Week last week that the covid-19 vaccines were “very safe” and encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“I don’t want to see you suffer, I don’t want to see your child suffer,” he said, advocating for the vaccines. “I don’t want to see your relative or a neighbor suffer. It’s avoidable. In the vast majority of cases, it’s avoidable.”
Those eligible for the vaccine can find appointments at providers around the state using the state’s website vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Southcoast Health hosts regular clinics at the Vanity Fair Clinic in Dartmouth. For times and locations of upcoming walk-up clinics, visit: https://www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccination/.
Those interested in getting vaccinated through Southcoast can now sign-up as slots are available, either through their MyChart account or at www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling/, which does not require a MyChart account.
The state has also set up a call center for those who are eligible for the vaccine but are unable to access the vaccine appointment website or who have trouble navigating the complex online system.
From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, people can call 211 and navigate to the vaccine help line by pressing two when prompted. The call center has workers on staff who speak English and Spanish, and there are translators available to support residents in about 100 additional languages.
VaxMillions Giveaway incentive
In an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the state has planned a VaxMillions Giveaway. Each week, two fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents will win big. One adult over the age of 18 will win $1 million, and one teen between the ages of 12 and 17 will win a $300,000 scholarship grant.
The first drawing was held on July 29. The second drawing will be held on August 5, and the deadline to enter has passed. Those who have entered in time for the earlier drawings will stay in the running for all subsequent drawings (or until they win).
For more information or to enter, go to www.vaxmillionsgiveaway.com.
For additional information about the available covid-19 vaccines, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/ or talk to your doctor.