The share of Wellesley’s overall population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has hit 66% and the percentage of those eligible who have been fully vaxxed is now 77%. About 150 more residents have become fully vaccinated over the past 2 weeks, according to weekly data released by the state.
Statewide, COVID-19 numbers have started to creep up, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus infects people, mainly those who are unvaccinated. The Commonwealth has issued a new mask advisory.
At the Board of Health meeting last week the director of nursing said we’re now at about 2 new cases per day in Wellesley.
Increases in the fully vaccinated within age ranges are now modest at best, though. the 12-15-year-old category has seen a relatively big 3% jump over the past 2 weeks.
The 20-29 bracket is at just 54%.
There are theories as to why this age category is behind, including that college students may have been vaccinated partially in Massachusetts and partially elsewhere or entirely in another state, and that the numbers haven’t been tallied the same as for other categories. There’s also concern nationally that this age group may not feel it’s at as much risk from COVID-19, and they’re not as influenced by parents to get shots as teens would be.
Wellesley has nearly 19,500 residents fully vaccinated, and the state has surpassed 4.4 million people fully vaccinated against the disease.
Wellesley has 72% of its population with at least 1 dose.
No mask mandate for now
Wellesley Board of Health and Health Department members gave the Select Board a COVID update on Monday night (see first half hour of Wellesley Media recording, and discussed a possible advisory for indoor. mask use in town, but not a full-blown mandate like the one Lexington puts into effect this week.
Health officials cited the town’s overall high vaccination rate, and 90%-plus vaccination rates across key town departments like the DPW and library, for stopping short of a mandate. It might be possible the town would request those entering public buildings and interacting with town employees to mask up, and for public-facing town employees to do likewise.
Health officials also suggested that the vaccination stats from the state on Wellesley might not capture information on residents who headed south in the spring or were at school and got vaccinated outside of Massachusetts.
Public Health Director Lenny Izzo says businesses are being encouraged to do what they feel is appropriate, and noted that not many businesses have reached out for guidance. Babson and Wellesley College are requiring students be vaccinated.
Conversations on these topics are constant among town health officials.
“It’s a conversation we’re having daily 7 days a week,” Izzo said. “It’s not going anywhere right not. Someday it will.”