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Vaccination rates 'steady' as COVID cases climb

Health experts say if you haven’t gotten the shot yet, now’s the time to do it.

NORFOLK, Va. — COVID cases are on the rise but the number of people lining up to get a shot has slowed down in recent weeks and remained steady over the past few days, as more people get vaccinated. 

According to the Virginia Department of Health, 71% of adults in the Commonwealth have at least one dose. Around 53% of the total population is fully vaccinated.

Health departments across Virginia remain focused on increase the vaccination rate.

Acting director for the Virginia Beach and Norfolk health departments, Dr. Parham Jaberi said COVID is on the rise, especially among people who haven’t gotten the shot.

“We’re not seeing the surge in the interest like we saw in the beginning of the pandemic. We’re hoping to turn as many minds as possible," Dr. Jaberi said. “There’s still some work to be done with a lot in the community who aren’t really thinking about getting the vaccine.”

VDH is tracking the number of vaccinations given each day. A chart on the VDH website shows a downward trend in vaccination numbers as more people get the shot.

Division epidemiologist with VDH's Division of Immunization, Marshall Vogt noted, the rates are steady.

RELATED: Coronavirus cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations are increasing in Virginia and Hampton Roads

“Vaccination rates are actually pretty steady right now. The average number of doses being administered per day is just over 11,000 and that’s data as of today. And we’ve really been around that level now for the past several days,” he said.

“Obviously when the vaccines first came out, we saw that huge demand for them, that huge push. And that’s really trailed off and it’s really kind of leveled off once we got to about that 70% threshold a few weeks ago at the beginning of July.”

But there are still millions of Virginians who are unvaccinated and COVID is on the rise, especially among people who haven’t gotten the shot.

Dr. Jaberi said the vaccine is effective against the different variants at preventing severe cases and death so he’s hoping vaccination rates will pick back up.

“We’re really hoping with this new data that’s showing how protective the vaccines are," he said. "Individuals who are taking a wait and see approach will say, ‘That data seems pretty convincing, it’s now time for me to get my shot.”

Vogt said vaccinations are the "ticket out of this" pandemic. 

“We’re trying to break down any barriers people might have to receiving a vaccine – being just being able to access a vaccination site or wanting information about it," Vogt said.