PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association just launched a new statewide public education and outreach campaign stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.
The initiative is aimed at those who are hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The group is using social media, radio and other outlets to try and reach people. It includes a digital video that is being circulated on social media platforms and an audio-only radio announcement.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, about 58% of the population is fully vaccinated. Leaving more than 40% more vulnerable to the virus.
The video and radio spots emphasize that vaccination drastically reduces the likelihood of COVID-19 infection. Since, Jan. 17, only .4% of fully-vaccinated people in Virginia have has a breakthrough infection. Only .017% have been hospitalized, and .0038% have died.
Meanwhile, data shows 98% of adults in the U.S. who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in June and July were unvaccinated.
The VHHA said it is releasing its message as the delta variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and Virginia.
Virginia reported 52 new COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and is reporting its highest levels of COVID deaths on average (28 per day) since March. The seven-day moving average for cases in the state was 3,204 as of Sept. 8.
As of Wednesday, local test positivity in the eastern region of the state was at 16.8%, up from 15.5% two weeks before.
Some hospital leaders have also reported that their facilities are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
“Increasing Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is a safe and effective way to help us move beyond the pandemic and return to some version of normalcy. Vaccines are free, federally-approved, and proven to be highly effective in preventing infection and hospitalization,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “In addition to protecting yourself and the people around you, getting vaccinated is a way to honor the dedicated health care professionals across the Commonwealth who have bravely served on the frontlines of this pandemic for more than 18 months. So please, make a plan today to get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already.”
Anyone in Virginia age 12 and older can get vaccinated.
Any Virginian who is eligible to be vaccinated is urged to visit https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/ or www.vaccines.gov/ to get more information about vaccination, including vaccine locations in local communities across the commonwealth.