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Rising flu and COVID cases ‘concerning’ to local health group working to administer vaccines

Celebrate Healthcare is hosting a series of vaccination clinics across the Peninsula to encourage people to get the Bivalent COVID booster and flu shot.

HAMPTON, Va. — Respiratory illnesses are spiking across Hampton Roads and the United States.

In some states, hospitalizations have almost doubled as healthcare workers grapple with everything from RSV to the flu to COVID-19 infections.

Celebrate Healthcare President Gaylene Kanoyton called the rising cases “very concerning.”

And as cases of the flu and COVID go up, vaccinations are down. The Virginia Department of Health shows a downward trend in the number of COVID vaccines administered in the Commonwealth.

Celebrate Healthcare said it is hoping to tackle that with a series of vaccination clinics on the Peninsula.

“We don’t want people to confuse the first and second booster with the Bivalent,” Kanoyton said.

At the Virginia Air and Space Center, healthcare workers administered flu shots, and the new COVID Bivalent vaccine targeted at the omicron variant.

“My whole family is here to get vaccinated,” Sara Hess said. “We always do vaccines; we follow the pediatrician’s rules and science. It’s so important to keep us all healthy.”

Kanoyton said her team wants to do what it can to slow the spread of COVID and the flu.

“I’m sure we have over 100 shots that we can give today,” she said. “We are trying to do as many as possible before the end of the year. We want everyone to have a healthy holiday and go into 2023 healthy.”

People who got vaccinated today also got to tour the museum for free with their families.

The museum’s interim director Chuck English said it’s an added incentive to encourage people to get vaccinated.

“We need to support everyone to make sure that they’re staying healthy through the winter season, make sure that they’re updated on their boosters and their flu shots,” English said. “It’s also a chance to look at everything here at the center. This is a place that talks about innovation and the things that have happened in the Hampton region.“

Celebrate Healthcare will have another vaccination clinic next Sunday at the Virginia Living Museum. Again - if you get a vaccine, your entire family can tour the museum for free.

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