Covid-19Local News

Roanoke Valley prepares to vaccinate younger populations while combatting hesitancy

ROANOKE, Va. – Signs of hope continue in the fight against COVID-19 in the Roanoke Valley.

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow said we just saw our lowest weekly case count since the fall.

Health experts are still battling vaccine hesitancy though.

They’ve shifted from a mass clinic distribution strategy to targeted neighborhood outreach, addressing specific concerns in areas with low vaccination rates.

“People may not trust the vaccine. They may feel that it’s not safe, they feel that it’s not effective and so for that, it really requires education,” Morrow said.

The FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds by early next week.

Planning for those clinics is already underway in the Roanoke Valley.

Morrow said they’re working with local superintendents right now to expand their school clinics.

“We have been holding high school vaccinations for over 16 and 17-year-olds, and so far, we’ve had pretty good success, lower rates than we’d like to see,” Morrow said.

So far, more than 200,000 people in the district have been vaccinated.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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