COVID Task Force Aiming for 75% Vaccine Rate by Memorial Day

Courtesy of Peter Schmeck

HYANNIS – The Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force said that the Cape is well-positioned to be a safe traveler destination for the upcoming summer season. 

New daily cases of the virus have declined and vaccination rates continue to climb, said task force members.

The State Department of Public Health said that on Cape Cod, over 47 percent of residents are fully vaccinated while 64 percent have received at least one dose. 

On Martha’s Vineyard, 42 percent are fully vaccinated and on Nantucket that number is 44 percent. 

On both islands, 67 percent of the population has received at least one shot.

“We continue to make very strong progress towards vaccinating as many Cape Codders—including essential workers—as possible before the start of the peak of the summer season. Indeed, we lead the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated,” said Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr, a member of the task force. 

Across the state, over 33 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Cyr said that the task force is aiming to get the percentage of those vaccinated on Cape up to 75 percent by Memorial Day, but they face some obstacles with children—who make up 17 percent of the population—not being eligible for the vaccine and some individuals who refuse inoculation. 

Governor Charlie Baker’s goal is to have all industries in the state fully reopened by August 1.

Cyr said that the final leg of the race to herd immunity will be the most difficult, but the task force will not relent in its vaccination efforts, including on Martha’s Vineyard where vaccination rates were formerly lagging the rest of the region before a recent influx of doses. 

According to the task force, walk-in clinics and clinics set up with employers will likely see the region through the last percentage of the population that would facilitate a return to a “new normal.” 

Members of the task force also stressed the importance of continued testing services, which still remains a vital tool for mitigating the spread of the virus. 

Alongside testing, the task force urged residents not to forget about COVID-19 safety guidance despite getting vaccinated, including maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings and not going to work or school if they feel ill.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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