ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) – Local health departments, such as Arlington County’s, are reaching a big milestone against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arlington County is at 57.7% of the 16 and up population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Jessica Baxter, public information officer for the Arlington County Public Health Division, said the county has been working to get 197,000 vaccine-eligible residents a shot.
“We’ve been making a concerted effort since the vaccinations have been approved to really get through our priority groups and then switch over to the general population,” said Baxter. “Vaccine nearly 60% have received at least one dose of vaccine.”
To further vaccination efforts, the county is doing walk-up clinics, which vary weekly depending on availability.
“For this week, Walter Reed Community Center is actually going to be our 16 and over clinics, so we are offering Pfizer there,” said Baxster. “Our Crystal City location this week will be for the 18 and over crowd, so we’ll have Moderna and Johnson & Johnson at that location.”
Dr. Reuben Varghese, the Arlington County Public Health Director, says getting that first dose is essential for the community.
“Remember 1 dose of the mRna is actually pretty darn effective, so it’s not that I wouldn’t like to see people getting their second dose, however I would rather try to go after the 40-something percent that have gotten nothing and see if we can get that percentage,” said Dr. Varghese.
“Arlington County really just wants to you know let people know that the vaccines are the best form of protection against COVID-19 we really want to make sure that everybody is getting protected as quickly as possible,” said Baxster. “So if you haven’t gotten your vaccine, please please please consider getting that vaccine.”
According to the CDC’s website, herd immunity is still uncertain as it’s unclear how many people have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before most people can be considered protected.