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VDH reaching out to thousands who didn't get their second COVID-19 vaccine dose

Hampton Roads and state health officials are urging people to get fully vaccinated.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Only 12 states across the country have fully vaccinated more than 40 percent of their population. Most states sit between 30 to 40 percent, including Virginia with only 33 percent. 

Now the race is on to get more people fully vaccinated so we can turn a corner in the pandemic!

At some COVID-19 vaccination clinics, there's little to no wait to get the vaccine.

“I went in and got my shot in about two minutes," said Virginia Beach resident John Ermini. 

On Thursday, Ermini got his second COVID-19 vaccine dose at the vaccination site inside the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

“I can hang out with my friends without having to worry about passing the virus to my family," said Ermini. 

Ermini plays soccer and he said the vaccine will also help him off and on the field.  

“I’m always around a bunch of people at my game and practices so definitely help me making sure I’m protected," said Ermini. 

The Virginia Department of Health is urging people to follow Ermini’s lead and get the second dose. The state’s vaccination coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula, said the state is still researching the number of people who didn’t get the second shot.

“So yesterday that was 6.7 percent. So 6.7 percent of people who gotten their first dose have not gotten their second dose within the recommended time period," said Avula.

VDH officials sent us a statement with the latest data concerning people not getting their second dose. 

"VDH is working through the process of having the call center contact those who haven’t received their second dose, and we plan to begin that soon. When we first reported our missed second dose numbers, we were seeing 9.4 percent of those who received a first dose not getting a second dose at 42 days. Since that time, we have reinforced public messaging about the importance of second doses. As of May 9, the total number of people with a first dose but not a second dose at 42 days is 238,167, which represents 6.7 percent of those receiving two-dose vaccines," said VDH Public Information Officer Logan Anderson. 

Avula said being fully vaccinated could help protect against new COVID-19 variants in Virginia.

“So you go from north of 80 percent effectiveness against these variants to more like 20 percent effectiveness with just one dose," said Avula. 

VDH says you can call the Vaccinate Virginia COVID-19 Center at 877-829-4682 to schedule an appointment or head into any of the walk-up sites in our area.