Don’t let up

10/7/2021, 6 p.m.
There is good news from the COVID-19 battlefront.

There is good news from the COVID-19 battlefront.

The Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield health districts are now taking appointments for COVID-19 booster shots.

The boosters shots are for people at high-risk for the coronavirus who took their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.

That includes people age 65 and older; anyone 18 and older living in a nursing home or long-term care facility; people with underlying health conditions, such as cancer patients, organ transplant recipients and those who are immunocompromised and at greater risk for COVID-19; as well as people whose jobs put them at high risk for exposure to the potentially fatal virus.

Other good news: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider authorizing a booster dose for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as examining the possibility of mixing and matching brands for booster doses.

Taking a booster shot is one more way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the devastating impact of COVID-19 and from becoming one more patient needing specialty care from already overburdened hospitals and their staffs.

We urge people who are eligible for the booster to get it.

And we urge anyone 12 and older who has not yet been vaccinated to get inoculated now.

Already, four weeks into the start of school for Richmond and Henrico students, we have seen an increase in cases. As of this week, Richmond Public Schools has reported 271 cases of students and staff testing positive, while Henrico County Public Schools has reported 688 cases.

Our Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover community grieves the loss of more than 1,700 people since the pandemic swept in in 2020. That’s like the enrollment of any one of the area’s high schools.

Thousands more have been stricken and hospitalized with the virus, with many suffering from long-term effects of COVID-19.

Despite all the efforts and incentives for vaccination, only 55 percent of eligible people age 12 and older in the city of Richmond alone have been fully vaccinated, according to state Health Department data. Broken down by race, only 39.8 percent of Black people in Richmond have been fully vaccinated. That is disheartening, especially because the African-American community continues to be disproportionately impacted by the virus.

The coronavirus hasn’t let up, and neither should we. Please roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated.