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Northam frustrated over COVID-19 vaccine rates, tells unvaccinated to think of their obituary

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:00 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 4:03 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Tossing his bedside manners out the window, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who is also a doctor, was clearly frustrated during a COVID-19 update on the state’s response to the pandemic which is now in its 19th month.

“If you still don’t want the shot then I hope you give some thought to how your family will remember you. Give some thought to what they’ll do without you. Think about how you want your obituary to read because you are taking a foolish, dangerous chance,” said Governor Ralph Northam, (D) Virginia.

The governor’s focus was on vaccination rates. Currently, about 63% of children between the ages of 12 to 17, have one dose of the vaccine. That number stands at about 80% for adults.

“We’ve done everything we can. We just need, again, to impress upon people that we need to all be part of the solution,” said Governor Northam.

Still high, COVID-19 daily cases are beginning to drop again and hospitalizations are stabilizing. Richmond Public Schools is dealing with COVID issues, like so many others. But the division’s superintendent says 98% of the 200 cases are from outside the classroom.

“The very best way we can limit quarantines is to increase vaccinations. Increase vaccinations amongst our students, our staff and our community,” said Jason Kamras, Richmond Schools Superintendent.

With the state expecting a peak in vaccination rates at the end of October, those large vaccine clinics will return too. The Virginia Health Department estimates 700,000 are eligible for a Pfizer COVID-19 booster right now, though half of them are health care workers who will primarily be vaccinated by their employer. VDH also says about 723,000 who call between the ages of 5 and 11 years old could also be eligible for a Pfizer vaccine in just weeks.

“We will continue moving forward on these. I think the need is going to be more than met with what we have now,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.

The state is reporting new vaccine numbers after Northam’s mandate for employees under his control. 71% are fully vaccinated, 16% are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 13% are pending a response.

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