ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Third doses of COVID-19 vaccines are being made available for people with compromised immune systems as the number of cases slowly increases.
Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul confirmed via text Tuesday that there have been 6,976 total cases in the county since the pandemic began, with 6,425 recoveries. He said there are 420 active cases with 10 residents hospitalized. A total of 121 Belmont Countians have died after contracting the virus.
Statistics for the county recorded by the state continue to differ from those reported by local sources. According to coronavirus.ohio.gov, there have been 6,693 total cases with 6,108 recoveries and 181 deaths associated with the virus. A variety of reasons have been given to explain the discrepancies, which seem to exist across all area counties.
Sproul said the hospitalized individuals are of all age groups, with the youngest being 30 years old. Only one of them had been fully vaccinated.
He added that his department has been administering third doses of the vaccine.
“We did 50 third doses (Monday) for the immunocompromised,” he said.
Garen Rhome, administrator at the Harrison County Health Department, said third doses are available to the vulnerable there as well.
“We currently are offering the third shot to the immunocompromised population that was identified a couple weeks ago now,” he said. “That’s a conversation to have with your doctor and we can offer that third dose if any of those immunocompromised wish to get it. … It’s a very small population.
“When it comes to the third dose for the general public, we certainly have not begun to roll that out. The Sept. 20 goal set forth by the Biden administration … are guidelines being reviewed by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and we’ll wait for that (Food and Drug Administration) approval and (American Society for Investigative Pathology) guidelines before we can offer that to the public,” he said. “We anticipate hopefully seeing that in late September.”
Rhome said people will be able to receive their third dose eight months after their last vaccinations.
Rhome’s office reported 1,247 total cases since the pandemic’s onset, with 1,189 recoveries. There are now 34 active cases in the county and three people hospitalized with the virus. Two of the 34 active cases are fully vaccinated. A total of 24 residents have died after being infected.
Again, state figures differ. According to coronavirus.ohio.gov, there have been 1,226 total cases and 1,126 recoveries, with 38 deaths associated with the virus.
“We have eight new cases (Tuesday),” Rhome said.
The Monroe County Health Department reports 1,482 total cases with 1,400 recoveries. There are 40 active cases with two people hospitalized, and 42 Monroe County residents have died after being infected.
At the state level, coronavirus.ohio.gov states there have been 1,476 total cases with 1,357 recoveries and 46 deaths associated with the virus.
“(Active cases) are slowly going up,” Robin Grover, public information officer at the Monroe County Health Department, said. “We have our first booster shot clinic on Thursday. They can walk in. We prefer that they call, because a lot of calls that we’ve got they’re not people that meet the specific criteria from the state. It’s a pretty specific listing of those that qualify.
“Thursday is our third dose clinic. It’s not the same as a booster. The boosters would be for other people once they approve it for people who don’t hit the immunocompromised,” Grover added. “The clinic will be at the health department at 118 Home Ave, Woodsfield, by appointment only.”
She said residents can call 740-472-4299 to schedule a third dose for those who meet the criteria.
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