VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY)— Right before the holidays, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are going up.
The new coronavirus variant, Omicron is now in Virginia, with two confirmed cases.
Health officials say the best way to prevent the spread is to get vaccinated.
Helping with that mission, were volunteers at Kingdom Cathedral Church off Stoneshore Road in Virginia Beach.
A COVID-19 vaccine and booster and flu vaccine clinic was held in partnership with The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.
“This is our last shot clinic we’re doing before the holidays and then we’ll resume again after the beginning of the year,” said Bob Engle with the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.
Administering the shots were Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers.
Engle says rolling up your sleeve is important especially with the new variants.
“As everybody has read the news; the Omicron variant is here, it’s in the country, and if you look at NYC it’s spreading rapidly. We’re expecting it to do the same here in the next few weeks, so we’re encouraging everyone to get their boosters,” said Engle.
At least 100 people, some with appointments, others walk-ins took advantage of the two-hour clinic. Church Volunteer, Elizabeth Mcrae says while they saw many adults getting the shot, she says it’s just as important for children.
“These children are going into the schools and they’re also coming around their memaws and nanas and we just want them to be vaccinated as well because the more people who are protected, the more we all are protected,” said McRae.
Engle says only 20% of the 5-to-11-year old’s in Virginia Beach have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine.
He hopes that changes in time for Christmas.
Health officials are also encouraging folks to continue to wear masks at indoor gatherings and use sanitizer regularly.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.
Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.