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'It's a great thing' | Loudon County leads Tennessee in COVID-19 vaccinations

Most of the state's 95 counties are well below the national average. In Loudon County, vaccination rates are higher.

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — In Loudon County, nearly half of all who live there have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

That's well above the state average of 35 percent, and slightly above the national average of 44 percent. 

Spanish Version: Condado de Loudon encabeza cifra de vacunación contra COVID-19 en Tennessee

"We've just all worked together from one end of the county to the other to help them make it successful," said Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw. "It says a lot about the people of Loudon County: how they're willing to step up and do this and take care of this."

Credit: WBIR Data Team

RELATED: LIST: Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine in East Tennessee

He also said it reflects the demographics of the people who live in Loudon County.

"We have several large retirement communities and so that drives our median age up a little bit," Bradshaw said. "I think that they've taken advantage (of vaccination opportunities), especially being in the high-risk bracket."

A quarter of Loudon County's population is 65 and older. Data from the Tennessee Department of Health shows at least 87 percent of people who live there and are 65 or older have received at least one dose.

Credit: WBIR Data Team

"To see our citizens step up this way, it means a lot to me," Bradshaw said. "I'm just super proud of our county. I think it's a great thing."

While participation is the highest in the state, it's still not enough to reach herd immunity.

"There's quite a lot of the population who have not gotten their vaccine," said Vistara Pharmacy owner Bimal Patel. "My request would be whoever has not gotten the vaccine, please make sure you get the vaccine."

He and other medical providers are still working hard to give out shots. 

"Now that the vaccine is available freely, people are a little bit reluctant," he said. "Our pharmacy is open on Saturday and Sunday just for vaccination as well for people who cannot do vaccinations during the weekdays."

You can make a vaccine appointment through Vistara Pharmacy's website