LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – The push to get more people vaccinated continues, as the delta variant continues to spread. Numbers from the state show Loudon County is among the most protected counties in our region against the COVID-19 variant. A local pharmacist thinks he may know why.
43.1% of Tennesseans have had a least one dose of vaccine, compared to 49.52% in Knox County, and 53.19% in Loudon County.
Charlie Coscia, Pharmacist at Rocky Top Pharmacy, sees an average of one or two people a day coming by for a Covid-19 vaccine today. He compared the drop in demand, which he said started in late May, to turning off a light switch. Thinking back to the early days of the vaccine rollout, though, he remembers one, unified, group, eager to get the shot. “They were really anxious to get the vaccine,” he said. “It was almost clamoring to get it.”
Most of his early shots were taken by people living in Tellico Village. Coscia believes that community contributed to the county’s relatively higher vaccination rate. “When we finally got our first 100 doses somebody came in and asked if we had the vaccine. We said yes. I guess we were a little naïve at what the response would be. We had immediately, like 50 people in line…we gave all our vaccine within like two or three days,” he added. And they were all patients from Tellico Village.
Debbie Daly explained once shots were available she, and her neighborhood, jumped at the opportunity and began spreading the word about where they could go get inoculated. Daly is one of many retirees in Tellico Village who takes her health, and getting back to normal, seriously. “We wanted to get back to our life because I just retired here three years ago and I did not want to spend the rest of it in a hospital bed,” she said.