Virginia’s vaccine coordinator says to expect Delta variant cases ‘to double every week’
Richmond receives $4 million federal grant for COVID-19 vaccine effort
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond is on the receiving end of a $4 million grant meant to get more COVID-19 vaccines in arms. That comes as the state’s vaccine coordinator says the Delta variant is spreading in the commonwealth.
“We continue to see a pretty regular trend, census tracts in the south, close to the George Wythe and census tracts in the east as well,” said Amy Popovich, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts Nurse Manager.
Those are some of the city’s hotspots, where vaccine rates are low. For the city overall, 46% of people have one shot in them, only about 40% are fully vaccinated.
The federal money will focus on improving health literacy among racial and ethnic minority and vulnerable communities.
“We will continue to focus on those areas not only through our on the ground, communicating with residents there, providing that information,” said Popovich.
During a COVID-19 response update at city hall, state vaccine coordinator also addressed virus variant concerns. Dr. Danny Avula says the delta variant now makes up about a quarter of all new cases in the country.
“So we are seeing the delta variant here in Virginia, and we are seeing it spread unrelated to travel. And we can fully expect that we will see the delta variant to double every week,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.
The World Health Organization now recommends masking up due to variants, even if you are fully vaccinated. But, Dr. Avula says here at home, vaccine access combined with rates and low daily COVID-19 cases are important factors not seen in other parts of the world.
“I think we can still cling to the guidance that if you are fully vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask, and the only thing I see changing there is if we start to see breakthrough cases with these variants,” said Dr. Avula.
As for a potential booster shot, Dr . Avula firmly said, based on the science so far, that likely won’t be needed until 2022.
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