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Albemarle Co. boasts highest percentage of pop. with at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Va.

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - President Joe Biden set a goal of getting 70% of the U.S. adult population at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 before July 4. Virginia is now one of several states already surpassing the president’s goal.

The Blue Ridge Health District is leading in that vaccination effort. According to the Virginia Department of Health, almost 70% of the population in Albemarle County have gotten at least one vaccine dose. That’s the highest percentage across the entire commonwealth.

“We as the health department could not do this without so many partners like the health systems and providers and volunteers and community organizations stepping up and saying, ‘We want to help, and we want to make this possible,’” Jason Elliott with BRHD said.

Albemarle Co. ranks second to Fairfax City in terms of the adult population vaccinated: 80.2% in the county compared to the city’s 81.6%.

Elliott says going mobile with getting shots into arms has made a difference.

“This allows us to take those vaccines and health services to community centers and food banks, bring them out to parties and events that are happening in our own backyards so that if people can’t come our clinic, the clinic can come to them now,” he said.

Infectious Diseases Doctor Bill Petri with UVA Health agrees: “There’s been so many examples of where we’re not reaching the communities most in need. This is a glaring one where it’s been the Latinx and African American communities who have suffered the most, and getting the vaccine to them is really our responsibility,” the doctor said.

The effort to vaccinate is still urgent, especially against new variants of COVID-19.

“There’s still a lot of people that haven’t been vaccinated,” Petri said. “Fortunately, a much much lower level than it was in January, probably 95% fewer, but if you’re not vaccinated you’re still running the risk of this infection.”

The doctor says the hope is to get grade-school-age children vaccinated by this fall, and children age 2 and up in the winter.

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