WOOD COUNTY, Ohio — The COVID-19 vaccines have been out for almost a year now and new data from the Wood County Health Department says they are working in the county to reduce transmission.
Department officials looked at the county's COVID cases from August 1 to this week and found unvaccinated people were at a significantly greater risk of catching the virus.
County health officials began taking a closer look in the summer at how vaccinations were helping to prevent COVID-19 transmission as the delta variant was spreading.
The group looked at vaccinated people who tested positive versus unvaccinated people, and found 64 percent of Wood County residents who got the shot represented about 30 percent of cases. The remaining 36 percent of residents who were not vaccinated made up 70 percent of the COVID cases.
"We found that from August until now, the population that had completed a vaccine series had an incidence rate that was four times lower than the group that had not completed a vaccine series," said Ben Robison, Health Commissioner for the Wood County Health Department.
Some Perrysburg residents at the Way Library Saturday said the results didn't surprise them.
"It makes sense," said one resident. "I mean the vaccine is there to prevent it. It's not a cure for COVID but to prevent just like any vaccine."
Robison stressed even though vaccinated people are testing positive, it's happening at a lower rate, meaning the vaccine is working to reduce cases. And even if you do test positive, being vaccinated has benefits that lead to less disruption in the classroom or workplace.
"Individuals who are vaccinated are able to stay in those environments as long as they remain asymptomatic," said Robison. "There are much more minimal precautions they have to take to go about their normal activities."
Overall, cases are on a gradual decline. But vaccine hesitancy remains with only about 50 percent of Ohioans fully vaccinated. It's a problem one Perrysburg resident says is preventing us from ending this.
"Unfortunately, people not getting vaccinated makes getting there much more expensive in terms of lives lost," said Glen Marsh.
Vaccines for kids 11 and under are expected to get approved in the coming weeks. Robison says the quickest way to end this pandemic is through vaccination.