A Colorado town is about as vaccinated as it can get. COVID still isn’t over there.

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RiverStone Health hosts a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for MSU Billings students and staff in this file photo. 

LARRY MAYER, Billings Gazette RAE ELLEN BICHELL Kaiser Health News

San Juan County, Colorado, can boast that 99.9% of its eligible population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, putting it in the top 10 counties in the nation, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If vaccines were the singular armor against COVID’s spread, then on paper, San Juan County, with its 730 or so residents on file, would be one of the most bulletproof places in the nation.

Yet the past few months have shown the complexity of this phase of the pandemic. Even in an extremely vaccinated place, the shots alone aren’t enough because geographic boundaries are porous, vaccine effectiveness may be waning over time and the delta variant is highly contagious. Infectious-disease experts say masks are still necessary to control the spread of the virus.

The county logged its first hospitalizations of the pandemic in early August —

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