This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Thursday, March 5, 2020. (NIAID-RML via AP)

As vaccination numbers climb, new daily cases of COVID-19 are falling, according to Shelby County Health Department statistics.

A total of 662,594 vaccines have been administered; 359,635 people have now been fully vaccinated. 

Full vaccinations consist of two vaccine shots taken weeks apart. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continue to be in abundant supply in Shelby County.

When vaccines were highest in demand, thousands were being administered across Shelby County in a day. Now, the average number of vaccines currently given daily is 1,132. The rolling average for new cases of COVID-19 is 59.

Wednesday’s new case number was 22 – the lowest number of reported daily cases this year – bringing the total number of cases in Shelby County to 98,779. Two deaths were reported, bringing the death toll from the virus to 1,677.

There were 38 new cases reported Tuesday; 42 Monday and 48 Sunday.

“The county’s COVID-19 outlook is very good,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph, medical officer for the Health Department. “There was a bit of fear that dropping the mandate for masking would lead to a spike in new cases and hospitalizations. But I am happy to say that did not happen. Of course, we are watching the aftermath of this past Memorial Day weekend,” Randolph said.

Now, city and county officials are pushing for everyone to be vaccinated. The minimum age to receive a vaccine is 12 years. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive a vaccination. The parent or guardian will be required to show a valid photo ID, as well as complete and sign a consent form on site for their child to be vaccinated.

Incentives for taking the vaccine have gotten the attention of hold outs, thanks to the Kroger Company. Kroger Health, the healthcare division is launching a $5 million incentive program for those who have not yet received the vaccine.

The “#Community Immunity” giveaway campaign will start next week. The promotion allows individuals, including customers and associates, who has received a vaccine from Kroger Health, a chance to win one of five $1 million payouts and a chance to win free groceries for a year.

They’re calling it the #CommunityImmunity giveaway campaign and it starts next week when Kroger Health plans to announce prizes, official rules and eligibility. The company said the vaccine promotion coincides with President Biden’s effort on the national front to have at least 70 percent of adults get their first dose of the vaccine by July 4.

As of Wednesday (June 2), Kroger Health has administered 4.6 million COVID-19 vaccines.

While many establishments have removed masking signage posted at the front door, others continue to require masks inside their premises. As COVID-19 new numbers continue to diminish, masking requirements are expected to lessen as wells.

Shelby County’s goal is to get 700,000 adults and children fully vaccinated. For additional information on vaccination sites still operating, call Shelby County Health Department at 901-222-9000.