TYLER, Texas — The number of fully vaccinated people in East Texas continues to rise, according to the Texas Department of state health services.
Nacogdoches and Gregg County are reporting at least 20% of it's adult population is fully vaccinated.
"As we continue to learn more and more about the vaccine, it allows us to understand more what that means for us as far as going back to the normal life," Dr. Tom Cummins, division chief medical officer at UT Health East Texas, said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have received their second dose in a two-series vaccine, such as Pfizer and Moderna, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson are considered fully vaccinated.
"Roughly two weeks after your second dose, you're considered fully vaccinated at that time and that does start to open up some freedoms," Cummins said.
Cummins says although and individual receives the vaccine they should not let their guard down.
"Well, again, remember, the vaccine isn't 100% [effective]," he said. "So if you're in a large groups with potentially lots of unvaccinated people, you need to continue wearing your masks. You know it appears to be pretty low risk of catching it but there are people who even after their second dose are catching COVID."
Texas has reported less than 18% of its population is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
Cummins says UT Health East Texas has administered more than 43,000 doses.
"We're in the I think, around around 20,000 fully vaccinated, but we've yeah, it was a little over 43,000 total doses have been given just just at the North complex," he said. "It doesn't include what we've been able to do and say Athens, Henderson, Carthage are some of our smaller regional facilities."
According to NET Health, community spread levels are down.
Doctors, however, continue to treat new confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
More than 130 news cases were reported as of April 5 across NET Health's seven jurisdictions.
Meanwhile 49 people remained hospitalized in Tyler area hospitals, according to NET Health.
"And in the meantime, keep your guard up," Cummins said. "Continue to wear masks in large group gatherings out, you know, out in the community. Continue to keep our distance [and] continue to keep our hands washed."
To find out more information about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine through UT Health East Texas you may visit their website by clicking here.