Gov. Northam holds briefing on COVID-19 and vaccines in Virginia

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:05 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 1:46 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says he doesn’t know what else to say to people who are choosing not to get vaccinated.

The governor held a press briefing in Richmond Monday, September 27, where he updated everyone on the COVID-19 situation across the commonwealth.

Gov. Northam started the briefing saying Virginia’s case numbers are down and hospitalizations leveling off, but they’re still way too high: “Ask any exhausted nurse in any hospital in Virginia. Today we reported 1,997 new cases. That’s better than a couple of weeks ago, but it’s a whole lot more than the start of the summer, when at one point we had fewer than 100 cases in a day,” Northam said.

According to the governor, more than 80% of adults in the commonwealth have gotten at least one vaccine shot, and that around 60% of the population is fully vaccinated.

“The data show that nearly everyone who’s getting COVID is unvaccinated. I want to repeat that nearly everyone who is getting COVID is unvaccinated,” Northam said.

The governor again encouraged the unvaccinated to get the shot.

“These vaccines are incredibly safe and effective,” he said. “Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth.”

Northam also addressed COVID-19 booster shot eligibility, as well as plans in the works as Virginia waits for children under 12 to be eligible for the vaccine.

Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, but Northam says he is working to put plans in place to get them vaccinated when they can be.

“The easiest and most equitable way to deliver the COVID vaccine is at school, to have the health department come in and give the shots. So, our teams are working with school divisions and superintendents to do that wherever possible. I can’t yet tell you the specifics because the plans are still in formation, and nothing will happen before the FDA approval,” Northam said.

Specific groups are currently eligible for Pfizer boosters.

“If there are questions about whether you qualify, whether you should receive a booster, please ask your physician or your provider,” Northam said.

Northam also put out the call for medical reserve corps volunteers, saying that retired teachers especially are perfect to volunteer in school communities.

Regarding access to the vaccine, the governor says the access and supply are both in place, but that we need cooperation and that he has done everything he can.

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