Central Shenandoah Health District reaches vaccine milestone, 50% of population has at least one dose

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Slowly but surely, vaccination rates around the Shenandoah Valley are going up.

The Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) is reporting exactly half of the total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 46.3% of the total population is fully vaccinated, and 54.4% of people 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

Jordi Shelton, with the CSHD, said getting half of the population at least one shot is a milestone, but there is still work to do and cases are going up.

“It is so crucial that people get vaccinated. The Delta variant is present in the CSHD,” Shelton said.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), 99.3% of COVID-19 cases and 98.2% of hospitalizations are present in people that are not fully vaccinated.

VDH reports that only 0.031% percent of fully vaccinated people developed COVID-19, and 0.0026% of fully vaccinated people who developed COVID-19 needed to be hospitalized.

Shelton said this data from the state shows that the vaccines are working to prevent severe illness and hospitalization, and slow the spread in the community.

The CSHD was hosting mobile clinics at places like schools and apartment buildings but is reeling in some efforts to focus on hosting clinics at health departments. Shelton said these clinics will have consistent times and locations.

“We’re focusing our outreach on education too. We’re still working with our community information team to canvas and provide folks with information on where to find a health department vaccine or where to find a vaccine at a pharmacy in the area,” Shelton said. “By no means are our efforts going away, it’s just they are looking a little bit different now.”

But there will be some events where vaccines are available, like Vax the Valley. Shelton said several dozen were distributed this past weekend in Staunton.

Vax the Valley.
Vax the Valley.(CSHD)

“It really goes to show that for some folks it is about convenience and having the vaccine where they already are and we saw so much success having this event where people are already going,” Shelton said.

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