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Small farm community in Johnson County tops vaccination rates in Indiana

73.1% of residents in Needham Township are vaccinated.
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Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 06:44:21-04

JOHNSON COUNTY — Nearly half of all Johnson County residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

One small community in the county has a very high vaccination rate.

Needham Township has a COVID-19 vaccination rate of 73.1%. To be fair, their 12 and older population is just 290 people. Of that population, 212 eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

Roy Fairbanks has lived in Needham Township for four years. He moved to the area from the south side of Indianapolis to be closer to family. He, his wife, and his children are all vaccinated against COVID-19.

"It's just something I wanted to do to stay safe,” Fairbanks said.

While out working in his yard on Wednesday, Fairbanks pointed to each of his neighbors nearby that he knew of who had received their vaccines. He explained he is proud that the community has such a high vaccination rate and it makes him feel that much safer.

"It's neat. It's neat because it's a small little town,” Fairbanks said.

The City of Greenwood has the next highest rate in the county with 57.9% of people 12 years and older fully vaccinated against the virus.

It may be a while before any other cities or townships catch up to these front runners. Staff at Johnson County’s Compass Park vaccine clinic said there are fewer and fewer people coming in for appointments.

"Definitely noticed that the people that we're vaccinating has slowed down,” Emaleigh Polley, who administers vaccines at the clinic said.

But, there is one group that they have seen more of recently.

"Since school is out now and we have Pfizer which is 12 and up there have been more teenagers,” Caleb Fleener, an administrator for the Johnson County Health Department said.

Azeneth Avitia, 17, was one of just a handful of people who came through the clinic on Wednesday morning. She received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

"I've had COVID before and I don't want to get it again so might as well be safe,” she said.

That feeling of safety something Fairbanks said he and his family have been able to enjoy for months now.

"Now that all my grandkids are vaccinated and everything, it's a lot better,” Fairbanks said.

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