COVID-19 Updates Archive - October 2021

  1. Oct. 27 Updates
  2. Oct. 22 Updates
  3. Oct. 18 Updates
  4. Oct. 14 Updates
  5. Oct. 13 Updates

Oct. 27, 2021 Update - 2 p.m.

Governor Northam Announces Virginia Achieves Top 10 Performance in the Country for COVID-19 Vaccinations
Twelfth largest state outpaces other states to reach top ten

As reported in the New York Times, Governor Ralph Northam has announced that Virginia now ranks 10th among all states for the percentage of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and for the total number of shots administered. More than 82% of individuals 18 years and older have received at least one dose and 74% of adults are fully vaccinated. Nearly 6 million people have received vaccinations and nearly 12 million shots have been administered among the 8.5 million people who live in Virginia.

The three available vaccines have proven to be enormously effective in reducing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Cases have declined to 1,500 per day as of Oct. 26—a drop of 40% over the last two weeks and significantly lower than January’s peak of over 6,000 daily cases. Hospitalizations have fallen 42% over the last four weeks and are nearly two-thirds lower than pre-vaccine levels. Additional data on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Virginia can be found on VDH’s data dashboards

Virginia is delivering strong progress in vaccinating eligible children, with more than two-thirds having been vaccinated. Health officials anticipate that the federal government will give final approval to vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds in the coming days. Virginia is home to more than 700,000 children ages 5 to 11.

Federal health officials have also recently approved booster doses for all three available COVID-19 vaccines, and more than 403,000 Virginians have received a booster so far. 

Virginians who have not been vaccinated yet are encouraged to go to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) to find a nearby vaccination clinic. For answers to frequently asked questions or to learn more about vaccination for COVID-19 in Virginia, visit VDH's COVID-19 Vaccination Response page.

View the full news release on the Virginia Governor Newsroom


Oct. 27, 2021 Update - 10 a.m.

Statement from Virginia State Vaccination Liaison Dr. Danny Avula on FDA Advisory Panel’s Recommendation of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for 5-11-Year-Old Children

Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received the recommendation of its independent advisory panel, the Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), to expand the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech C0VID-19 vaccine to include children from the ages of 5 through 11 years.

The VRBPAC recommendation and FDA’s coming action on that recommendation are only the first two review steps the vaccine must undergo before it can be administered to children. The next step is for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to meet Tuesday, Nov. 2 to discuss the administration of the vaccine to this age group, followed by the final decision by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Only when this process is complete would children ages 5 to 11 years be eligible for vaccination.

The following statement is from Virginia’s state vaccination liaison Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH.

“The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is tremendously excited about this first step by the FDA’s advisory committee to recommend expanding the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in 5-11-year-old children. It’s a milestone on the road toward emerging from the pandemic, returning to a more normal life, and most importantly being able to provide this protection to more Virginians."

“VDH has been planning for several months for the eventual rollout of this vaccine to young children, working with a wide range of healthcare partners to get these vulnerable children vaccinated as quickly as possible, utilizing channels ranging from pediatricians, family practices and pharmacies to community vaccination centers and local health departments. We await action by the FDA and then the CDC’s final decision, hopefully by next week. There’s light at the end of this pandemic tunnel sooner rather than later.”

Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a community vaccination center or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages. At community vaccination centers, appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times. Walk-ins are still welcome.

View the full news release on the Virginia Department of Health Newsroom.