VDH officials discuss delta variant and what’s next in Virginia’s vaccination efforts

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Department of Health officials held a phone conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the delta variant’s spread in Virginia and the state’s vaccination efforts moving forward.

Officials emphasized current vaccines do work against the delta variant. With reports of breakthrough infections among vaccinated people, vaccines are keeping people out of hospitals and alive, officials said.

Because the delta variant is much more contagious, VDH officials said more people need to be vaccinated to stop the spread.

Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia’s vaccine coordinator, said vaccine numbers are finally ticking up.

“After things slowing significantly through the month of June, we are finally seeing an increase in the rate of daily vaccination. Our low point was about 11,000 doses a day and right now were just shy of 14,000 doses a day,” said Avula.

Avula said the FDA is reviewing data regarding third doses of the vaccines for immune-suppressed populations and his team is making preparations if those recommendations come down.

VDH is also preparing for the anticipated approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old. Approval for children is expected this September.

Tuesday afternoon, Avula also said they’re expecting the FDA to grant full licensure to the vaccine soon.

With the licensure, Dr. Avula said there will very likely be more required “proof of vaccination” required with more private companies and businesses.

If you’ve lost or misplaced your vaccine card, you can get a new PDF copy in a matter of seconds on the VDH website under Vaccinate Virginia.

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