Younger people contracting COVID-19 in the BRHD

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Most of those at risk for COVID-19 in the Blue Ridge Health District are children who don’t currently qualify for a vaccine.

Health experts say the people spreading coronavirus in the community are unvaccinated.

Doctors say if you qualify for a shot, get vaccinated as soon as possible before another variant emerges.

“The more disease spreads, the more the virus replicates itself, the more opportunity there is for other variants to come up,” Ryan McKay with BRHD said. “We have to remember that not everybody has access to the vaccine, and so you getting your vaccination regardless of the type of vaccine helps prevent spread among others.”

Currently, 40% of COVID-19 cases in the BRHD are people between 10-29 years old.

“I think what we’re seeing is that the expiration of the governor’s executive order on the 30th combined with a holiday weekend has created more opportunity for social gatherings, potentially more interactions, and then obviously increased risk of spread,” McKay said.

Doctor Costi Sifri with the University of Virginia says, nationally, only 30% of school-aged children are fully vaccinated.

“It is a more susceptible population,” Sifri said. “The Delta variant, being more transmissible, it’s like gravity: It’s going to seek areas where there are vulnerable populations, and children are potentially that group.”

Getting vaccinated doesn’t just protect you, it also protects the kids who can’t yet get their shot.

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