NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials were notified of four deaths of residents over the past week, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the county to 267. Sixty-two deaths have been reported in the month of September, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths reported in a single month since the beginning of the pandemic.
Of the 62 deaths reported in September, the ages of those who died and were unvaccinated skewed younger than those who died and were fully vaccinated. Reported deaths in unvaccinated individuals averaged 56 years old, compared to an average age of 77 years old in vaccinated individuals. Sixty-five percent of deaths reported this month in the unvaccinated population were in their 30’s, 40’s or 50’s, while more than eighty-five percent of deaths reported in vaccinated individuals were in their 70’s or older.
“There’s still this myth out there that being young makes you immune to serious illness from COVID-19 and it’s simply not true,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “What we’ve been seeing is that those who are unvaccinated are facing more serious health outcomes than those who are vaccinated, and sadly, many of the people who have died from COVID-19 this month were in the younger age ranges. We still need more people to get vaccinated to protect themselves. Vaccinations not only help you build protection against COVID-19 but help our entire community build protection so that we can fight this virus, save lives, and keep our community moving forward.”
As an organization, New Hanover County Government has a current vaccination rate of 82.5 percent as of September 30. In August, the county’s vaccine policy outlined workplace safety and health measures built to maintain continuity of county services, and set an internal goal to reach 75 percent of employees vaccinated by October 1. This rate will continue to grow as county policy now requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all new hires, ensuring continuity of county operations and critical services to the community.
“I am really pleased that we have exceeded our organization’s policy goal for vaccinations,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “This a testament to so many people within our organization taking the important step to protect themselves, their families and colleagues by getting vaccinated. I hope others in our community see the benefits of getting vaccinated as well, to help protect them and give them a head start in fighting the virus if they are exposed to it.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have authorized and recommended booster vaccine shots to provide continued protection for those at high risk for serious illness or exposure and who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine for six months or more. The booster dose is free and is the same product given in the first two doses.
Those eligible include individuals who are:
Appointments are required for booster doses through Public Health and can be made at takemyshot.nc.gov. Make sure you bring a copy or photo of your vaccine card to your appointment, or know the dates of your Pfizer vaccinations.
COVID-19 Community Data, as of September 30:
View information about Public Health’s vaccine clinics, booster doses, and more at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.