BERKS COUNTY, Pa. | In the last 30 days, the rate of new COVID infections has continued on an overall downward trend, something medical experts say is attributable to more and more people getting vaccinated.
"We're on a really good track now to really crush this outbreak, and the more people we get vaccinated, the more assuredness we're going to have that we're going to be able to do that," says Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President.
The president's goal is to have at least 70% of adults receive at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4th. Right now, that number sits around 62%.
Several companies are giving incentives for people to get vaccinated. Locally, clinics are expanding their hours to try and accommodate those who still need to get their shot.
"We have conversations almost daily about how can we target people who have not had access to the vaccine, whether it be the homeless or the homebound or younger age groups," says Dr. Debra Powell, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases for Reading Hospital.
As of Wednesday, Reading Hospital had 14 hospitalized for COVID, none in the ICU. These are numbers Dr. Powell says haven't been seen for at least nine months.
"We're seeing less cases currently circulating because more people are getting vaccinated."
As of last Friday, just under 46% of Berks County's population were fully vaccinated. County officials say to reach the earmarked 70% about 45,000 more people over the age of 18 would need to get their vaccine.
Vaccines are already being administered to children 12 through 18 and manufacturers are evaluating the safety of vaccinating younger children.
"We hope as we approach the end of this calendar year, we'll have enough information to vaccinate children of any age," says Dr. Fauci.