Carilion Clinic reaches 50,000th vaccine dose milestone as national COVID-19 deaths surpass 500,000


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — As Carilion Clinic surpasses 50,000 coronavirus vaccinations, health officials say virus hospitalizations have been trending downward over the last few weeks in the Near Southwest Region, and that may be due to vaccines.

“As we continue to vaccinate more and more I think that we will hopefully see those numbers continue to decline,” explained Dr. Chad Alvarez, the Senior Director of Retail Pharmacies, Pharmacy Systems, and Support at Carilion Clinic.

Just a month ago, coronavirus hospitalizations were up almost 100 patients from where they are now.

According to Dr. Alvarez, “Folks have really worked hard and diligently to care for our patients, each other, our community, and I just think it’s just emotional that you can start to see your hours of work and dedication and collaboration with others start to produce some reward.”

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reporting only 11% of those getting the vaccine statewide are Black, despite the fact that according to the Census Bureau, 20% of the population is Black.

However, Dr. Alvarez says the number of African-Americans getting the vaccine has increased.

“We’ve seen that increase over the weeks that we’ve continued to vaccinate so I’m very hopeful that that will continue to improve because the overall goal is to get a vaccine to everyone,” he explained.

Doctors say they hope these results will help fight off the COVID-19 fatigue we’re all feeling and people will stay vigilant in continuing to get the vaccine, wearing masks, washing their hands, and socially distancing.

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