State’s vaccine coordinator shares the latest on COVID-19 vaccines and what school may look like in the fall

COVID-19 Vaccine

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia hit an important benchmark for vaccinations this week, but the state vaccination coordinator says we are far from done.

While 70% of adults have received at least one dose of vaccine in the state, there are segments of the commonwealth reporting a 30% or 40% vaccination rate.

Here in Hampton Roads, Northampton is reporting the highest number of adults vaccinated at 74%, followed by James City County with 73%. That’s according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

The lowest rates are in Portsmouth at 38%, Norfolk at 44% and Virginia Beach at 48%.

State Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula says those who are not vaccinated are still strongly encouraged to wear a mask and avoid large public events, like concerts or baseball games.

“So if you are fully vaccinated and you go to a (Norfolk) Tides game and you’re outside then you can have good confidence that you’re not going to be contributing to the spread of disease,” Dr. Avula told WAVY News 10.

That’s because data that has emerged over the last couple months shows the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 is very very minimal if you are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Avula expects a vaccine for children younger than 12 will be ready in late fall, possibly by October, but not before school starts. Until then, he said the mask protocol will remain. Since older children can get immunized he added, “I think there will be more flexibility for older kids, depending on what the vaccination rates in your community are and depending on what the COVID rates in your community are.”

Dr. Avula also raised some concern about the new Delta variant, telling WAVY, “At the end of May the Delta variant was about 2% of our new infections and as of last week it was 10% and I think it’s going to be much more than that.”

Luckily, he said the vaccines appear to be working against that variant and others that have emerged – so far.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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