Getting the COVID-19 vaccine differs based on where you are in Virginia

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine differs based on where you are in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - So far, roughly 3.5 million Virginians have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, but the ages of people ready for the shot is different depending on where you are in the commonwealth.

“Now we’ve vaccinated for the most part the people that have been eager to get vaccinated and those who’ve been on the fence, but willing and have access,” Dr. Taison Bell of the University of Virginia Health System said. “Your decision to get vaccinated is partly linked to how accessible it is in your community.”

About 12% of Albemarle County folks in their 20s have received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, in Augusta County that number is sitting at about 7%.

“We’re seeing there’s a disparity between one county and another that really lets the health district fine tune the message and try to focus on the areas that have lower uptake,” Bell said.

According to data provided by the Virginia Department of Health, folks in their 30s and 40s in both Albemarle and Augusta are getting the vaccine

“We are seeing an influx of persons between the ages of 16 to 64 getting vaccinated and we’re quite excited about this. This was in the cards for phase 1c and now we have totally expanded and we are happy that we are getting the younger population in now because we were focused on older adults for quite some time,” BRHD data analyst, Guleer Shahab said.

Now that everyone 16 and older qualifies for a shot in Virginia, Bell says reaching out to the younger population can be the game changer.

“We’re going to have to switch and pivot from centralized organizing vaccination efforts that are more convenient to the district to methods that are more convenient to people. That’s going to be a lot more difficult obviously, but I think it’s what’s going to get us over this hump,” Bell said.

By May 1, the BRHD will be releasing data breaking down who exactly has been vaccinated.

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