MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — It’s been more than a month since one county in our region experienced its first Delta variant case.
As COVID-19 continues to spread at a high rate across the Tri-State, low vaccination rates and continued community spread of COVID-19 in Mingo County are leaving some locals frustrated.
“I just wish it’d all end,” says Crystal Campbell, of Pike County, Kentucky. “I just wish it all end also,” echoes Louvenia Campbell of Pike County, Kentucky.
It’s a common refrain around Mingo and neighboring counties. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not letting up any time soon.
According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Mingo County is in the “red” category for high community spread, with more than 15% positivity, and they have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the Mountain State with only 30.8% of people have at least one dose of the vaccine.
It’s a situation local pharmacists have been dealing with for a while.
“We’ve been involved since January almost on a daily basis, with vaccines,” says Nicole McNamee, owner and pharmacist of Hurley Drug.
The demand for vaccinations hasn’t always been steady here:
“It’s been kind of a rollercoaster, now it’s back to where we have a high infection rate and people are scared again,” McNamee says.
Now that the virus is hitting close to home, McNamee says she’s seeing a shift in people’s attitudes.
“I definitely think people have changed their minds. People that said, ‘I wouldn’t never get vaccinated, they’re saying, ‘I’m scared,’ or ‘I know somebody in my family,’ or ‘I don’t want somebody in my family to get sick.’”
Some of those we spoke with in the area are still split about the vaccinations:
“I think there’s a lot that’s skeptical. I mean I am myself, I’ve actually been thinking about it. I’m about to have a new baby, a new grand-baby actually, and I’ve really been thinking about it just because I want to protect her, but I’m still doing my research and I’m still talking to my doctor about it,” Crystal Campbell says.
Those who are getting their vaccinations now tell us they hope it will protect them from the worst effects of the virus.
“I’ve already had it, like I said, once. It was hard, going through it, so I’m hoping it makes it a little bit easier on me if I contract it again,” says Lisa Ellis of Mingo County.
The best advice healthcare workers share is to get more people vaccinated in order to stop the spread of this disease.
“I know people that have died from COVID, I don’t know anybody that’s died from the vaccines…I don’t think we’re gonna get on the other side of this until we get people more people vaccinated,” McNamee says.
For more information on COVID-19 resources in Mingo County, visit their health department’s website here.