Marion reaches major vaccination milestone

Oct 26, 2021

As Marion and Mattapoisett have surpassed major vaccination thresholds, Rochester still lags far behind its local counterparts.

Last week, Marion became the first of the three towns to reach a single-dose vaccination rate of 90%, while Mattapoisett lags behind slightly with 88%.

“We’re actually very pleased with it,” Marion Board of Health Chair Ed Hoffer said. He added that the single-dose rate for 55-and-up residents in Marion is around 95%. So, if there’s a group for the town to focus on for vaccine uptake, it’s younger residents, who Hoffer noted also have a high vaccination rate.

“I’m not sure there’s going to be any specific targeting,” Hoffer said. “It’s hard to argue with success.”

Marion has also, alongside Mattapoisett, seen more than 80% of its residents fully vaccinated. In both towns, that rate has reached 81%, nearly 20% above the Plymouth County average.

“It says a lot about the citizens of our town as well as the public servants,” Hoffer said.

In Rochester, however, vaccination rates have largely stagnated near the county average. About 67% of Rochester residents have had at least one dose of a covid vaccine, with 62% fully vaccinated.

Still, Rochester’s vaccination rate hovers just below the average uptake of Plymouth County. As of Oct. 19, the county had an average of 69% of residents with at least one dose and 62% fully vaccinated.

In the Old Rochester Regional School District, vaccination rates are creeping up. But a recent DESE decision extended mask mandates in schools to Jan. 15, regardless of vaccination rates. OR Junior High School reported a full-vaccination rate of 58.2% on Oct. 22, while OR High School is at 75.9%. Previously, a vaccination rate of 80% would have allowed vaccinated students to shed their masks in the classroom.