Hampton Roads Healthcare Organizations Urge Community to Get Fully Vaccinated
Regional healthcare leaders encourage residents to become fully vaccinated, take precautionary measures against COVID-19 amid recent surge in cases
Hampton Roads, VA-- (December 30, 2021) -- Hampton Roads healthcare leaders are calling on all eligible residents to take all precautionary measures available against COVID-19 to stop the community spread. As the community is facing increased cases brought on by the Omicron variant, Bon Secours, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare are asking those eligible who have not yet been fully vaccinated to do so today.
The COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have been proven to be safe and effective in reducing one's risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as preventing hospitalization or severe consequences. Due to the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant, full vaccination, including boosters for those eligible, is recommended to all community members.
In accordance with the CDC, all those ages 5 and older are currently eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including receiving a first and second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or a first dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.
In addition to initial COVID-19 vaccination series, booster vaccines have been proven to improve immunity against COVID-19 and are currently available for those individuals who meet any of the following criteria:
● All adults 18 years and older who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months prior. Qualifying individuals are eligible for any of the COVID-19 booster vaccines authorized in the United States.
● Teens 16-17 years old who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months prior. Qualifying individuals are currently eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster only.
● All adults 18 years and older who received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine at least six months prior. Qualifying individuals are eligible for any of the COVID-19 booster vaccines authorized in the United States.
● All adults 18 years and older who received their first dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months prior. Qualifying individuals are eligible for any of the COVID-19 booster vaccines authorized in the United States.
For more information on boosters, please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.
In addition to becoming fully vaccinated, please continue to follow all precautionary safety protocols and encourage your loved ones and neighbors to take these precautions, including:
● Practicing social distancing;
● Wearing protective face masks; and
● Getting tested if you feel sick or have been in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19.
Emergency Departments throughout our community are experiencing longer wait times than normal. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, feel asymptomatic, or need a test for travel purposes, please schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or purchase a test at a local convenience store. They are simple, inexpensive and effective. If you have non-life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms such as sore throat, loss of taste or smell, those are expected with the virus and can be discussed with and treated by a healthcare provider through a scheduled appointment. However, if you are experiencing shortness of breath or severe weakness when walking a short distance, please visit your nearest hospital. These can be life-threatening and need to be evaluated by a provider as soon as possible.
For all available testing locations, please visit the Virginia Department of Health website.
To help protect your friends, family and community, and stop the spread of COVID-19, get vaccinated today. For more information about how to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.