Experts weigh in on Washington Area vaccine data

Virginia

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GREATER WASHINGTON AREA (WDVM) — As the DMV area moves forward with post-pandemic practices like lifting mask mandates, COVID data from all three region’s websites show a slow uptick in case numbers.

WDVN spoke to state and local health experts in Virginia and has the COVID breakdown.

Here’s a graph of Virginia’s vaccine data from the state’s department of health page:

From Virginia Department of Health

Northern Virginia is in the dark blue with over 60% of residents fully vaccinated, while the rest of the state is in a lighter blue, meaning less shots in residents’ arms.

Doctor Laurie Forlano with the Virginia Department of Health says many residents should be able to readily get their COVID shots now.

“I’m hopeful that we’re hopefully turning a corner but we’re not quite out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Forlano.

“My advice to people would be look at the data, the cases are starting to tick up,” said Dr. Forlano. “One reason is vaccine is readily available now and that’s a pretty big game-changer. So, you know that major critical prevention tool is at our fingertips now,”

Doctor David Goodfriend with the Loudoun County Health Department, Northern Virginia’s most successful county in getting shots in arms, says vaccines may pave a path to a safe return to school in the fall for those over 12.

“We know that everyone under age 12 is completely susceptible to the vaccine,” said Dr. Goodfriend. “Those who’ve not been vaccinated are completely susceptible. And as we’re trying to get our children back into school in the fall, the best thing we could do for them is if they’re 12 years or older, for them to get vaccinated now.”

When it comes down to the return of the masks, locally and state-wide the answer is not clear.

“The challenges, as the delta variant and picks up steam,” said Dr. Goodfriend. “It easily may be a case where it makes sense for folks to wear masks again, even if they’re fully vaccinated.”

“Whether or not those types of mandates will be necessary in the future,” said Dr. Forlano. “I’m not sure yet. We hope that Virginians take our public health recommendations, seriously and to heart.”

Virginia and D.C. are both around 53% of residents fully vaccinated while Maryland is jumping ahead at 57% of Marylanders with both shots.

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