Young people in the valley tend to be vaccinated less often than adults

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – With the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant detected in Virginia, health officials say it is a reminder to continue practicing mitigation measures.

With cases on the rise, health officials say approval of recalls for 16 and 17 year olds is a step towards fully protecting more people from serious illnesses from COVID-19 .

“We have a vaccine that is very effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death, so there is something you can do to prevent this from happening,” said Jordi Shelton of the Central Shenandoah Health District.

In the Valley, young people tend to be vaccinated at a lower rate, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health. Although young people tend to be less at risk of serious illness, Shelton said getting the vaccine is still important to prevent serious illness or the spread of the virus to other people.

“There is a certain reluctance to vaccinate among the youngest. Maybe not even hesitate, they just feel like they don’t need the vaccine, but time and time again it has shown that vaccines are very effective, they are very safe and that this group of people “age is vulnerable if they are not vaccinated,” Shelton said.

You are entitled to a booster six months after being fully immunized. As to when to get one, Shelton said it’s best to do it as soon as you’re eligible.

“As soon as one is available for you, go out there and get it. It’s going to give you that extra layer of protection, especially at the start of the holiday season when people are more likely to congregate in. inside and without a mask or social distance. It’s good to have that extra layer or that extra protection, “she said.

Much of the valley’s vaccination rate is around 50-60%, with a range of around 15-20% of people having booster doses.

“It will not only protect you from getting seriously ill, hospitalized or dying, it will also protect your community,” Shelton said.

Although Omicron is a cause for concern, it is not a cause for panic. As the virus continues to circulate, other variants will appear.

“Right now, the dominant variant in the United States and Virginia is the delta, and we know that the delta is very communicable, and vaccines work to prevent it or prevent serious illness,” Shelton said.

Since the approval of recalls and vaccines for more children, the Shenandoah Central Health District has moved its mass clinic sites back to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds and the James Madison University Convocation Center, but due to lower demand, the health district will finish them next week. .

You can still get vaccinated at health service clinics, your local pharmacy, or primary care doctor.

If you are feeling sick you should get tested. If you have come in contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, you should get tested and isolate yourself until you test negative.

If you are planning to travel, stay up to date on the travel tips of the CDC and VDH.

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