Joint Statement Endorsed by the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics – Virginia Chapter, the American College of Surgeons – Virginia Chapter, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – Virginia Section, the Medical Society of Virginia, the National Association of Social Workers – Virginia Chapter, the Richmond Academy of Medicine, the Richmond Ambulance Authority, the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants, the Virginia Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers, the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards Inc., the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the Virginia Association for Hospices and Palliative Care, the Virginia Association of School Nurses, the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, the Virginia Council of Nurse Practitioners, the Virginia Counselors Association, the Virginia Dermatology Society, the Virginia Health Care Association-Virginia Center for Assisted Living, the Virginia Health Care Foundation, the Virginia Network of Private Providers Inc., the Virginia Nurses Association, the Virginia Orthopaedic Society, the Virginia Pharmacists Association, the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association, the Virginia Radiological Society, the Virginia Rural Health Association, the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists, the Virginia Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Virginia Society of Rheumatology
RICHMOND, VA – The undersigned Virginia health care organizations, which collectively represent hundreds of thousands of health care professionals in the Commonwealth, are jointly urging unvaccinated Virginians to get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and others as new infections and hospitalizations are surging amid the spread of the delta variant.
“Like much of the rest of the nation, Virginia has experienced a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that began climbing in early July and have continued on an upward trajectory for two months. That upswing follows a steady decline in those metrics since the winter when the Commonwealth peaked at more than 3,200 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations on Jan. 13, 2021. By July 5, 2021, Virginia had just 195 total COVID-19 hospitalizations and a seven-day moving average of 228 new daily infections. As of today (Sept. 9, 2021), hospitals in the Commonwealth are treating nearly 2,200 patients who have been admitted for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the state seven-day average of new cases had risen to 3,003 as of the beginning of September. In just two months, hospitalizations have increased by 1,008 percent and new cases have jumped by 1,217 percent (a chart reflecting the evolving trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations is embedded in the document linked below).”
“With hospital inpatient and ICU beds already filling ahead of a looming fall surge, it is imperative for unvaccinated Virginians to do their part to help save lives and slow the spread of this deadly virus by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in communities across Virginia. They are free and they are highly effective in preventing infection and hospitalization. Virginia Department of Health data shows that since Jan. 17, 2021, just 0.4 percent of fully vaccinated Virginians have had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, 0.016 percent have been hospitalized, and 0.0032 percent have died from the virus. And a recent analysis from the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker found that 98 percent of U.S. adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in June and July were unvaccinated.”
“While Virginia has made significant progress on vaccinations – nearly 65 percent of the adult population has received at least one vaccine dose and more than 4.9 million Virginians are fully vaccinated – it’s still not enough to limit the spread of a virus that has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 Virginians and 649,000 Americans and has so far infected more than 40.3 million people in the U.S. Virginia adults and adolescents ages 12-15 are eligible to be vaccinated and immunocompromised individuals who are vaccinated can now receive a third vaccine dose. In addition to protecting yourself and the people around you, getting vaccinated is a way to honor the dedicated health care professionals across the Commonwealth who have bravely served on the frontlines of this pandemic for more than 18 months and have played a role in the treatment and discharge of nearly 63,800 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
“Increasing Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination rate represents a path to a healthier post-pandemic world by offering the best available protection for people against serious illness, the spread of infection, hospitalization, or worse health outcomes. Getting vaccinated offers protection to those who have been inoculated as well as the people around them in their personal and professional lives. So please make a plan to get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already for the health of you, your loved ones, and your community. More information about COVID-19 vaccination appointments and locations can be found at https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/ or www.vaccines.gov/.”