WACO, Texas — Mclennan County is close to a major milestone in vaccinations rates within the community.
Central Texas counties are behind the national average even with daily vaccine pop ups across the community.
"We are so close to getting to 50%," Kelly Craine said with the Waco-Mclennan County Public Health District regarding the fully vaccinated population.
Almost half of the population eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in McLennan County has gotten both shots, so far.
As of Wednesday, in McLennan county about 49% of the population 12 years and older are fully vaccinated. However the county is still trailing behind Texas, which is at about 60%, according to the state and the U.S. which is about 63% fully vaccinated.
Public health officials said reaching 50% is a good milestone, but they still have a long way to go.
"The way we are going we are so close, if we keep this momentum up. I would encourage go ahead and get that vaccine, help us get to 50%," Craine said.
The public health district is hosting vaccine clinics every day at places like local non profits, businesses, schools, and you can also get your shot at most pharmacies.
"It's just scary and people have to be aware that this is happening. This is real. It doesn't matter about your age, COVID will just hit," Diane Perez said, a McLennan county resident who got her second dose in March.
Now she is encouraging everyone she can to get vaccinated.
"I'll tell people at the grocery store, family members or friends or people that I don't know. I like to play bingo and I'll tell people at bingo hey you need to get the COVID shot," Perez said.
"As soon as we found out, we thought we better come and get this over with," Rosie Trevino said about her and her husband getting the vaccine when it first became available.
Now Trevino said they are looking forward to their booster shot.
Craine said the public health district believes the county needs to be at least 75% fully vaccinated for a good portion of the population to be protected.
"We're not nearly close enough. We really need as many people as we can to get vaccinated. COVID-19 is preventable, hospitalization is preventable and the way you do that is to get vaccinated," Craine said.
You can find daily COVID-19 updates on COVIDWaco.com.