The Virginia Department of Health announced Wednesday that providers across the state can begin vaccinating those aged 12 to 15 following federal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in adolescents.
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Hospitalizations for treatment of COVID-19 are at their lowest levels in Virginia and Northern Virginia since the information began being reported early last April, as case counts are at their lowest levels since last summer, according to new data released Monday.
On Monday afternoon Dr. Colin Greene, interim director of the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District, told county officials that Rappahannock is leading the region in the number of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Virginia and Northern Virginia each reported their fewest number of new COVID-19 cases this week since early October as the state looks toward a full reopening in mid-June.
Rappahannock County Public Schools have seen an elevated number of COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, though school officials say the incidents are isolated.
As of this week, all Virginians ages 16 and up are eligible to sign up for a vaccine. “We estimate at least three million Virginians will become eligible on Sunday [April 18] and it may take a few weeks to get appointments for everyone,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “ Working with our partners in local health districts, private pharmacy chains, doctor’s offices and others, I am confident that every adult in Virginia who wants the vaccine can get their shot by the end of May.”
On Monday, anyone 16 or over in the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District is eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine as the region shifts into phase two of distribution.
Despite increasing vaccinations, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia is at its highest level in three weeks heading into spring break for many school systems, and test positivity rates are rising in several Northern Virginia localities.
Starting Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam is easing pandemic restrictions on social gatherings, entertainment venues, alcohol sales and will end a voluntary curfew as Virginia’s COVID-19 cases continue to decline.
The Virginia Department of Health is launching a statewide vaccination pre-registration system starting tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16.