The State of Colorado updated its vaccination information dashboard recently to include the percentage of residents that have received at least one dose and both doses of COVID-19 vaccine at the county level. As of Tuesday, the data indicated 36 percent of Las Animas County residents have been vaccinated and 52 percent have received at least the first dose of vaccine.

Huerfano and Costilla counties have similar rates of immunization. Huerfano County has 44.5 percent of the population that has received at least one dose and 32.7 percent are up to date. Costilla County is 50.7 percent and 41 percent respectively.

On Monday the district health department said, “The vaccine is not an automatic off switch for the pandemic. As much as we’d all like to hope that the vaccine means an instant return to normal — it’s not. Until we have some level of community immunity, the vaccine is now just another layer of protection against COVID-19. It’s now one tool in our kit of resources to fight the pandemic. We’ll need to continue universal masking, hand washing, avoiding large crowds and practicing physical distancing for a while longer.”

The health department then listed five reasons to encourage people to continue using masks after being vaccinated. Those reasons include:

1) It takes time for the vaccine to kick in.

2) The vaccines do not provide 100 percent protection.

3) Those who have been vaccinated might be asymptomatic spreaders.

4) We still need to protect those with compromised immune systems and those who can’t be vaccinated.

5) There are still limited doses of the vaccine.

As of Monday, Las Animas County has a total case count of 1080 with 33 active cases and 11 deaths. Huerfano County has a total case count of 358 with 13 active cases and 17 deaths.

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