CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - According to the University of Virginia Health System, around 60% percent of people in Charlottesville and Albemarle County eligible for vaccination have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and about 40% are fully vaccinated.
“We’re increasing the number of people who are protected from this,” Dr. Costi Sifri, the director of hospital epidemiology at UVA Health said. “As we continue to do this I think that we’re gonna continue to see the results, meaning fewer cases of COVID, fewer hospitalizations due to COVID, and fewer deaths.”
With vaccine supply improving and most high-risk people already vaccinated, UVA Health says there are plenty of appointment slots available at Seminole Square and other locations.
“We’re hearing and know of vaccine appointment availability through the health department’s vaccination center at J.C. Penny and retail pharmacies,” Dr. Sifri said.
Dr. Sifri says around 4,400 UVA students have reported they have already been vaccinated. Thousands more are signed up for appointment slots.
“We think that on the order of 4,000 or so students are signed up to be vaccinated at Seminole Square,” he said. “In a month or so, we’re going to have a sizable portion of the student population vaccinated.”
Dr. Sifri says UVA has administered over 93,433 overall so far. With more people vaccinated, he says, we can expect to get back to some form of normalcy soon.
“To get to a point where we have a largely vaccinated population and we still have a lot of restrictions is a place that we don’t want to get to,” he said. “The reason that we’re doing this is to be able to have more of a normal society and we understand that’ll be a gradual process.”
Dr. Sifri is optimistic K-12 schools will be back to in-person five days a week in the fall.
“The way that I think that we achieve that is doing exactly that - which is vaccinating all people who are 16 years of age and above - so that we really knock down the transmission of this virus. We’re able to do that, I think, we can do that back in classroom instruction for K through 12”