WATCH: Dr. Morrow shares COVID-19 update after Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts say booster shots are available for those eligible

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Dr. Cynthia Morrow, held a virtual news conference on Tuesday to update the district on the COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations.

You can read the data shared by Dr. Morrow during the Zoom conference below:

This briefing comes after the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 2,641 new COVID-19 cases, 88 new virus-related hospitalizations, and 55 new virus-related deaths around the Commonwealth as of Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Of those numbers, the VDH says 104 new COVID-19 cases, three new hospitalizations, and two new deaths are from the following localities within the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts:

  • Alleghany County: Nine new cases
  • Botetourt County: 19 new cases and one new death
  • Covington: One new case
  • Craig County: Two new cases
  • Roanoke City: 26 new cases and one new hospitalization
  • Roanoke County: 30 new cases
  • Salem: 17 new cases, two new hospitalizations, and one new death

The meeting will also discuss the booster qualifications and guidance. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved boosters of the Pfizer vaccine.

According to CDC guidance, those 18 and older and qualify can receive booster doses anytime after six months from the date of the second Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Below are the eligibility criteria for those who qualify for the Pfizer-BioNTech:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings.
  • People 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions

The health districts state that they will also provide boosters to these qualifying people:

  • People 18-49 with underlying medical conditions
  • People 18-64 who are at an increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings

“COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness decreases slowly at six months, but people still have strong protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” said Dr. Morrow.

Because vaccine protection decreases gradually over time, there is no rush for eligible individuals to get a booster dose right away, health officials say.

Booster shots have not been approved for those who have received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

People who qualify can schedule a booster dose appointment at their pharmacy or health department clinic. To find a vaccination site, visit www.vaccines.gov or the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website.

Meanwhile, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are offering first-dose COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in the coming weeks at mobile clinics, which are listed below:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Craig County Health Department at 161 Main Street in New Castle (PfizerModerna, and J&J)
  • Thursday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alleghany County/Covington Health Department at 321 East Beech Street in Covington (PfizerModerna, and J&J)
  • Friday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Berglund Center at 710 Williamson Road NE in Roanoke (PfizerModerna, and J&J)
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 at Mt. Zion AME at 2128 Melrose Avenue NW in Roanoke (Pfizer and Moderna)
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Alleghany Country Club at 105 East Country Club Lane in Covington (Pfizer and J&J)
  • Sunday, Oct. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Thrasher Park at 930 Old Vinton Mill Road NE in Roanoke (Pfizer and J&J)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Williamson Road Library at 3837 Williamson Road in Roanoke (Pfizer and Moderna)

To set up a vaccine appointment or to learn more about vaccination efforts within the health districts, click here.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts have also scheduled several drive-thru testing events over the next two weeks:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center in Salem
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Westside Elementary School in Roanoke
  • Thursday, Sept. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge
  • Monday, Oct. 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Fincastle Baptist Church in Fincastle
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center in Salem
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hurt Park Elementary School in Roanoke

You can also get tested for the virus at pharmacies, medical providers, and more in your area by following this link.

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