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Health officials urging the unvaccinated to get the shot

Health officials said people who aren't fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should get the shot, especially now.

NORFOLK, Va. — Health officials have had a consistent message saying the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

With the Delta variant spreading quickly, it seems more people are taking that advice.

On Thursday, several people showed up at the Military Circle Mall vaccine clinic for their very first COVID-19 shot.

Edna Montoya-Zapata said, “It is a steady trickle, like a nice little drizzle. No mad rush.”

Montoya-Zapata and her 15-year-old daughter got the Pfizer vaccine.

“I haven't really been wanting to get the vaccine, to be very honest,” Montoya-Zapata said.

They said they want to be able to travel internationally. They also want to protect their loved ones.

“I felt that for my family, my newborn niece, my son who is having surgery, yeah. The Delta variant brings a whole new element into the game,” Montoya-Zapata said.

Health officials said people who aren't fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should get the shot, especially now.

Chesapeake Health Department Emergency Coordinator, Jerry Tucker said, “We are strongly suggesting that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible because that's going to be our best means of protection.”

Tucker said coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising.

“The thing with the Delta variant is it's more than twice as contagious as a previous experience that we've encountered, but also causes increases in the severity of illness, especially those who are unvaccinated,” Tucker said.

He added his biggest worry is people spreading the virus and not even knowing it!

“Even for those who are vaccinated, it is possible with the Delta variant to transmit it to those who aren't vaccinated so that is our concern so again we want to reach herd immunity and vaccinations are the best way to do so, ” Tucker said.

City leaders across Hampton Roads say as of now, COVID-19 clinics are here to stay.

Officials running the Military Circle Mall COVID-19 vaccine clinic say they are reducing the hours at the site in August. It will open every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. People can also get a COVID-19 vaccine on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.