Nearly three dozen Virginia health care organizations, which collectively represent hundreds of thousands of health care professionals in the Commonwealth, are jointly urging unvaccinated Virginians to get a COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and others as new infections and hospitalizations are surging amid the spread of the delta variant.

Like much of the rest of the nation, Virginia has experienced a sharp rise in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that began climbing in early July and have continued on an upward trajectory for two months. That upswing follows a steady decline in those metrics since the winter when the Commonwealth peaked at more than 3,200 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations on Jan. 13, 2021. By July 5, 2021, Virginia had just 195 total COVID-19 hospitalizations and a seven-day moving average of 228 new daily infections. As of today (Sept. 9, 2021), hospitals in the Commonwealth are treating nearly 2,200 patients who have been admitted for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the state seven-day average of new cases had risen to 3,003 as of the beginning of September. In just two months, hospitalizations have increased by 1,008 percent and new cases have jumped by 1,217 percent (a chart reflecting the evolving trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations is embedded in the attached document).

With hospital inpatient and ICU beds already filling ahead of a looming fall surge, it is imperative for unvaccinated Virginians to do their part to help save lives and slow the spread of this deadly virus by getting vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in communities across Virginia. They are free and they are highly effective in preventing infection and hospitalization. Virginia Department of Health data shows that since Jan. 17, 2021, just 0.4 percent of fully vaccinated Virginians have had a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, 0.016 percent have been hospitalized, and 0.0032 percent have died from the virus. And a recent analysis from the Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker found that 98 percent of U.S. adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in June and July were unvaccinated.

More information about COVID-19 vaccination appointments and locations can be found at https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/ or  www.vaccines.gov/.