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Raleigh, NC – On Friday, NCDHHS stated that Bladen County’s low vaccination rate is leading to Covid-19 spread.

The county has a vaccination rate of only 33%.

According to the health department, the county is experiencing critical viral spread and increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The COVID-19 County Alert System report shows the county is now red.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen said, “What’s happening in Bladen County is preventable. More than 99% of new COVID-19 cases in North Carolina are in people who are not fully vaccinated. Vaccines are working.”  

According to the NCDHHS, in Bladen County, nearly 60% of new Covid-19 cases over the past three weeks have been linked to a cluster in one zip code, the Bladenboro community. Officials said that currently, there have been approximately 81 cases and one death linked to that area.

People age 49 and younger account for more than 64% of cases. Overall, 63% of cases are among white people, and 15% are among Black/African American people.

Health Director Terri Duncan said, “Bladen County Health Department will continue to make sure it is easy and convenient to get your COVID-19 vaccine in our communities.” She added, “The vaccine is safe, free, and effective, and it will help prevent more people in our county from dying from this disease. If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, now is the time.”