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As Tennessee's latest COIVD-19 wave stalls, so does the state's vaccination effort

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(Mike Osborne) -- Tennessee’s COVID-19 omicron wave is collapsing, and along with it, the number of state residents getting vaccinated against the virus.

The latest surge in virus positive cases topped out on Jan. 25 at an average of more than 17,000 new infections being reported daily. One month later, that average has fallen to 3,100 new cases each day, an 82 percent decrease.

The number of active infections statewide have now fallen to their lowest level since December. As of this past Saturday, less than 38,000 state residents were virus positive. Compare that to one month ago when cases peaked at a new all-time record high of 201,000 active infections.

As the omicron wave has subsided, so has Tennessee’s vaccination rate.

This past week, state health officials reported the smallest number of injections since vaccines became available. Only 7,500 Tennesseans completed their shots, while just 9,200 received the booster dose.

The latest available records indicate some 52.6 percent of state residents are now fully vaccinated against the virus. That means roughly 3.2 million state residents have no protection from COVID-19 as Tennessee’s vaccination effort stalls.

Worse still, virus related deaths jumped sharply higher this past week. Two weeks ago, health officials reported 375 fatalities statewide. This past week a total of 651 Tennesseans died, a 73 percent increase.