VDH: Data shows that vaccinated people rarely die from COVID


FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2020, file photo, Pat Moore, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it to emergency medical workers and health care personnel at the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Department of Health says only 17 people who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus have died of the disease in the state since January.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday that the new data indicates that unvaccinated Virginians make up more than 99% of this year’s COVID-related illnesses and fatalities.

It’s a fact that public health officials hope will persuade people to get their shots. State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver urged more Virginians to get vaccinated in a statement on Friday.

Public health officials say vaccines will be the most effective tool at ending the pandemic. It has killed more than 11,400 Virginians and infected at least half a million.

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