Vaccination rates against COVID-19 across the Tampa Bay area are steadily inching upward as cases continue to plummet after the summer surge.
Both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties reported 68% vaccination rates in the latest statewide COVID-19 report released by the Florida Department of Health on Friday. The report covers the past week, dating from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4.
That means that 68% of those eligible to receive a vaccine have gotten the shot in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. That eligibility accounts for the county’s 12 years and older population.
In Hillsborough County, that number translates into 878,307 vaccinated individuals, including 3,569 residents that got the shot in this past week. Over in Pinellas County, 606,709 people have been vaccinated, including 1,876 new vaccinations in the last week.
As far as new cases of COVID-19, both counties are reporting low numbers.
Hillsborough County confirmed 864 cases of COVID-19 in the last week, accompanied by a 3.5% weekly positivity rate, which is the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive for cases not yet recorded. That’s substantially down from the surge in infections observed in July and August, where the county was reporting over 10,000 weekly cases and positivity rates over 20%.
The area showed the first sign of decline near the start of September, after weeks of a surge and increased vaccinations.
In Pinellas County, only 361 new cases were reported in the last week with a 2.2% average positivity rate.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hillsborough County has confirmed 242,349 total cases of COVID-19, and Pinellas County has seen 134,737 cases.
Over in Pasco County, 229 new cases were reported over the past week, compared to over 3,000 weekly cases seen in this year’s surge. The county also saw a 2.8% average positivity rate.
Pasco has seen 79,364 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
As far as vaccinations, Pasco is also following the rising trend. In Pasco County, 67% of those eligible have received a shot, or 320,427 people. The county also reported 1,140 new vaccinations in the last week.