Miami County Graphic (map)

PERU — Miami County has the fourth lowest vaccination rate in the state, with the number of people receiving a shot remaining mostly stagnant since June.

According to the Indiana Department of Health, 38.9% of eligible residents were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, with 11,962 out of 30,785 residents getting a shot. The only counties with lower vaccination rates were LaGrange, Switzerland and Daviess.

In June and July, the average daily number of people getting a shot slumped to below 40, then jumped in August and September when the county saw a major outbreak of the virus. On Monday, the seven-day average sat at 35.

Miami County Health Officer Dr. James Rudolph said that although residents are still getting vaccinated, the numbers remain low. He contributed the low rate to the many residents “who are very anti-vaccine.”

“Then there are those who were not vaccinated and got COVID who now think they don’t need the vaccine,” he said in an email.

Last month, Rudolph presented a mask-mandate order passed by the Miami County Board of Health and asked commissioners to approve it.

He said the county at the time had seen a record number of new COVID cases at the health department, and the number of breakthrough cases had also dramatically increased. Commissioners voted 2-1 against implementing the mandate.

The number of new COVID cases in the county continues to decline from the outbreak in August. The virus peaked Sept. 15, with a seven-day average of 35 new cases a day. On Monday, that number sat at 13.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune and can be reached at 765-854-6739, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.

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