Virginia may be the 10th most vaccinated state, but locally, against COVID-19, there’s work to be done

‘It’s not going up at the rate we need it to protect our community.’

ROANOKE, Va. – A new study finds that Virginia is the 10th most vaccinated state in the country.

At the same time, health leaders are sounding the alarm to get more Virginians vaccinated against COVID-19.

The first step to getting the vast majority of Americans to take the coronavirus vaccine is education, according to WalletHub, which is the reason their analysts prepared this study.

Source: WalletHub

There are still a lot of people hesitant to get the vaccine, and recent polls have found that most adults who are still unvaccinated don’t plan to ever get the shot.

Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub who worked on this study, explained that it, ”looks at children and teenagers immunization rates, as well as adults and elderly vaccination rates to immunization uptake and other influencing factors.”

While the study looks at all vaccines, Virginia also ranks high with regards to the number of residents vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Virginia Department of Health reports 58% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, more than four of our five bordering states.

Maryland has a higher vaccination rate than Virginia and ranks 6 on WalletHub’s list.

While these numbers portray a positive trend, local health leaders are working to make them even better.

“It’s not going up at the rate we need it to protect our community,” said the director of the Roanoke City & Alleghany Health districts Dr. Cynthia Morrow, with regards to COVID-19 vaccination rates.

“Even across Virginia, there is a significant difference. Our areas, far Southwest, tend to be less vaccinated than our more urban areas,” said New River Health District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell.

Local data shows urban areas (Roanoke County, Montgomery County, etc.) have higher vaccination rates than in rural areas (Craig County, Bland County, Carroll County, etc.)

“People who are unvaccinated, they’re getting COVID-19 at 15.2 times the rate compared to people who are vaccinated,” explained Morrow.

In her district, 25% of new cases last week (week ending 9/10) were from children under age 18.

“It appears that the major source is outside school settings, particularly within households and within community settings,” explained Morrow.

Click here for a list of COVID-19 cases and quarantines reported in local K-12 schools.

Local health districts are offering more testing sites and vaccine clinics.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are hosting several drive-thru community testing events.

The events, which can accommodate 100 people per event, will be held beginning on Tuesday, September 14 at:

  • Salem Civic Center Parking Lot A on Tuesdays: 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5 and 10/12 from 4-7 p.m.
  • Dabney S Lancaster Community College on Thursdays: 9/16, 9/30, 10/14 and 10/28 from 4-7 p.m.
  • Fincastle Baptist Church on Mondays: 9/20, 10/4 and 10/18 from 3-6 p.m.

Visit for more general information about vaccines.

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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