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First doses of COVID vaccines increase in Central Shenandoah Health District, one age group lagging behind

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:37 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - More first doses of COVID-19 vaccines are going into arms around parts of the Shenandoah Valley.

Jordi Shelton, with the Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD), said the recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine may be pushing some on the fence to roll up their sleeve, but because the delta variant is more transmissible, more people are being impacted by the virus.

“The chances of you knowing someone in your community or family that has been severely affected is higher and unfortunately, that is sometimes what it takes for someone to want to get their vaccine,” she said.

As of Sept. 2, about 53% of the CSHD total population has received at least one dose and 48.4% of the total population is fully vaccinated.

61.7% of the adult population has received at least one dose, and 56.5% of adults are fully vaccinated.

“We’re getting there. It’s been a slow but steady climb,” Shelton said.

But she added that one demographic continues to lag behind.

“Our 18 to 35 year age group is the one that we’re kind of struggling to see, which is unfortunate because that’s who we’re seeing start to get more sick,” Shelton said. “I think younger folks might think that they have just more of a natural immunity to the virus because they’re young and they’re healthy, but that’s not necessarily always the case.”

Shelton said local transmission, cases, hospitalizations, and spread of the delta variant are all going up. She reminds people to mask up or stay home if they are unvaccinated this Labor Day Weekend.

The CSHD is offering free COVID-19 testing for those with symptoms or close contacts of known exposures, including those who are fully vaccinated on Friday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Augusta County Government Center. For more information, click here.

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