Bargersville reaches herd immunity as Delta variant spreads

With about half of eligible Johnson County residents vaccinated, the Delta variant of the virus could pose a problem locally.

At 53%, a slim majority of eligible Johnson County residents are fully vaccinated, more than the 48% of eligible Indiana residents who are, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

Public health officials urge those who are still unvaccinated to get a vaccine as soon as possible.

The Delta strain of COVID-19 is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which is 50% more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain, experts say.

That means Delta, originally discovered in India, is twice as contagious as the original strain. The variant is the dominant strain in India and has sickened millions and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The Delta variant now accounts for more than 50% of all cases in the United States, and White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects it to become the dominant strain of the virus in a few weeks.

The Delta variant was first discovered in Indiana last month, and about 200 cases have been found in the state through genomic testing, according to the state health department. Several cases have also been discovered in Johnson County, said Betsy Swearingen, health department director.

With many areas of the county under vaccinated, there is a chance cases could surge again as the Delta variant becomes more widespread, said Dr. David Dunkle, Johnson Memorial Health’s president and CEO.

Bargersville is the second Johnson County community to reach a 70% COVID-19 vaccination rate, which some experts say is herd immunity.

The Bargersville zip code reached herd immunity over the weekend, and 70.2% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

The Needham zip code reached herd immunity about a month ago. It now has a 74.8% vaccination rate.

No other Johnson County zip code is even close to herd immunity. Greenwood’s two zip codes, with rates in the low 60% range, are the only others in the county with a majority of eligible residents fully vaccinated, according to health department data.

In Franklin, 48% are fully vaccinated, 44% are fully vaccinated in the Nineveh and Trafalgar zip codes and 41% are fully vaccinated in the Whiteland zip code.

The Edinburgh zip code trails with 37% fully vaccinated.

Though the three vaccines that are approved for use in the United States are somewhat less effective against the Delta variant than previous strains, getting vaccinated is still important and a key tool to fight severe illness from COVID-19, Dunkle said.

Fully vaccinated individuals have received a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, or two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

Data from a new Israeli study, where the Delta variant is the dominant strain, shows the Pfizer vaccine is still 64% effective at preventing infection from the Delta variant, and 93% effective at preventing severe illness if infected.

That’s still good protection and good reason to get a vaccine quickly, to be protected in time for the fall return to indoor activities, Dunkle said.

Even if most people who are unvaccinated don’t get sick or end up in the hospital, the virus could sicken many and significantly interrupt school and work again, he said.

Since late May, there have been fewer than 10 new cases per day in Johnson County, according to the state health department.

Cases are similarly low across much of the state, but the positivity rate is trending upward in Johnson County and in most surrounding counties, health department data shows.

However, as more events move inside and children go back to school without masks and vaccines, the virus could spread more rapidly. It could be like last summer, when there was a lull in cases before a fall surge, Dunkle said.

If there is another surge this fall, it won’t be as deadly, as many of those most vulnerable to severe disease have been vaccinated, he said.

Still, there is a risk among all groups as new variants are more likely to cause severe infections in younger people. This time, the bigger risk is another hit to the workforce, Dunkle said.

A majority of Hoosiers 50 and older are fully vaccinated, while all age groups under 50 are less vaccinated. The vaccination gap is especially wide for Hoosiers 34 years old and younger, which have vaccination rates between 37% among 30-34 year olds, and 16% among 12-15 year olds.

More employers should team up with public health officials to encourage employees to get vaccinated. With the staffing crunch that already exists in many industries, COVID-19 has the potential to make it worse, Dunkle said.

Employers, as well as family, friends and neighbors, can all play a role in helping health care professionals convince more people to take the vaccine. The vaccines are all highly effective and rarely have side effects more severe than a fever, he said.

“We have good strategies (like) increasing access points going on,” Dunkle said. “Now it is the frontline battle of convincing people of the efficacy of the vaccines.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Here is a look at vaccination rates in Johnson County by zip code:

Needham, 46162: 74.8%

Bargersville, 46106: 70.3%

Greenwood, 46143: 62.4%

Greenwood, 46142: 61.3%

Franklin, 46131: 48.4%

Nineveh, 46164: 44.4%

Trafalgar, 46181: 44.2%

Whiteland, 46184: 41.8%

Edinburgh, 46124: 37.4%

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Here is a look at where those 12 and older can get a vaccine:

Register for the following sites online at, by calling 211 or any Johnson County Public Library branch:

Compass Park

When: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon.

Where: Event Center, 690 State Street, Franklin.

Type: Moderna, limited doses of Pfizer.

Walk-in: Available

Adult and Child Health Franklin

When: Vaccines available on Fridays.

Where: 1860 Northwood Plaza, Franklin

Type: Moderna.

Walk-in: Available

Windrose Health Edinburgh

When: Vaccines available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Friday.

Where: 911 E. Main Cross Street, Edinburgh

Type: Multiple.

Walk-in: Available

Community Health Annex South

When: Vaccines available Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: 1346 East County Line Road, Indianapolis. Drive-thru clinic.

Type: Pfizer.

Walk-in: Available

Walmart and Sam’s Club Pharmacies

Where: All Walmart stores in Johnson County; Sams Club at 1101 Windhorst Way, Greenwood.

Type: Federal Retail Pharmacy, type may vary.

Appointments for the following sites are made with the pharmacy, vaccine type may vary:

Kroger Pharmacies

Where: All Kroger stores in Johnson County.

Registration: or call 866-211-5320, walk-in available

Meijer Pharmacies

Where: 2390 N Morton St, Franklin; 150 S Marlin Dr, Greenwood.

Registration: Text COVID to 75049, visit

Walgreens Pharmacies

Where: All Walgreens locations in Johnson County.


CVS Pharmacies

Where: All CVS locations in Johnson County.


Costco Pharmacy

Where: 4628 E. County Line Rd, Indianapolis.


Source: Indiana Department of Health