Francisco Duran Ralph Northam

Arlington County Public Schools Superintendent Francisco Durán speaks during Gov. Ralph Northam's news conference Monday afternoon in Richmond. 

Virginia is preparing to vaccinate children against COVID-19 in schools as soon as the Pfizer shot is approved for those between ages 5 and 11, Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday. 

Northam said during a news conference that the state Department of Health is working with local school divisions and superintendents to roll out the vaccines as soon as they are available and that administering shots in schools would be equitable and efficient. The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for children ages 5-11 in late October or early November. 

"We want to make sure this is as easy on parents and children as possible," Northam said, adding that no specifics are available yet. 

Northam used a large portion of the news conference -- his first on COVID-19 since early August -- to castigate Virginians who have not yet been vaccinated.  About 80% of Virginia adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine, Northam said, but those who have not been vaccinated are ensuring the virus will continue to spread and mutate. 

The number of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia has declined about 10% over the past week but still remains more than double the level of a year ago - before vaccines were available. 

"The numbers are still way too high. Ask any exhausted nurse in any hospital in Virginia," said Northam, adding that data show that nearly everyone who is getting severe cases of the virus is unvaccinated.

"By choosing not to get vaccinated you are absolutely hurting other people," by making it difficult for others to get hospital care they might need. "You are costing everyone a lot of money."

He noted that he had COVID-19 a year ago and his senses of smell and taste have not returned. "And the COVID variant that is going around is a lot worse than I had." 

While acknowledging that he probably can't change the minds of the unvaccinated, Northam urged them to think about their choice.  

"Give thought to how you want your family to remember you, think how you want your obituary to read," he said, "because you're taking a foolish, dangerous chance, and it affects many more people than just you.”

Northam said he knows the state faces challenges persuading parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19. He cited for example vast differences across the state in the percentages of 12- to 15-year-olds who have been vaccinated -- from highs of 98.5% in Alexandria and 92% in Arlington County to lows of 17% in Highland County and Patrick County. 

“These wildly different rates are a good reminder that we still have much work to do,” he said. 

Northam was joined at the news conference by three local school superintendents, including Arlington's Francisco Durán, who touted the benefits of in-person schooling as well as the efforts they have made to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 in schools this fall. 

For example, Richmond City Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said the city has had 200 COVID-19 cases among students and staff since reopening, but over 98% of those did not occur within schools. 

“That tells us the mitigation strategies are working,” Kamras said.  Still, he added, the number of students who have to quarantine due to positive cases is disruptive to learning.  “The very best way to limit quarantine is to increase vaccination.”

Northam said that while vaccinating 100% of children would be his goal, he knows that's not realistic but would like to get to 80% or 85%.  

“If you want your kids in school every day, not quarantined at home… there is only one answer – get vaccinated. It’s the only way forward.”

Northam's news conference occurred as President Joe Biden received a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved for immunocompromised individuals, anyone over age 65, front-line workers and those with underlying health conditions.  Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia's vaccine coordinator, said that makes about 700,000 Virginians eligible six months after receiving their second shot.   

Bruce Potter is Publisher of InsideNoVa. He can be reached at bpotter@insidenova.com

(29) comments

Robert Thomas

Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Are Now Pointless: Covid-19 vaccines do not keep people from catching the prevailing Delta variant and passing it to others.

September 9, 2021

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD: 1 Nina Pierpont is a graduate of Yale University (BA in biology), with a MA and PhD from Princeton

University in population biology/evolutionary biology/ecology, and the MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. She is currently in private practice in upstate New York, specializing in behavioral medicine.

Executive Summary:

1) Excellent scientific research papers published or posted in August 2021 clearly demonstrate that current vaccines do not prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

2) Vaccines aim to achieve two ends:

a. To protect the vaccinated person against the illness.

b. To keep people from carrying the infection and transmitting it to others.

i. If enough people are vaccinated or otherwise become immune, it is hoped that

the disease will stop circulating. We call this herd immunity.

ii. On the way to herd immunity, there is an assumption that people who are

immunized can form safe clusters or groups within which no one is carrying or

transmitting the virus.

3) Unfortunately, this last assumption (2.b.ii) is no longer true under the new variant of SARS-CoV-

2, Delta (B.1.617.2), which now accounts for essentially all cases worldwide.

4) Delta is more infectious than the Alpha strain (B.1.1.7) that prevailed in the UK from January to May 2021 (and in the US from March to June 2021), meaning that Delta is passed more readily person-to-person than the previous dominant strain.

b. From its origin in India, Delta has soared to nearly complete domination of COVID-19 viral strains everywhere in a matter of months, because it spreads so easily and infects both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

5) New research in multiple settings shows that Delta produces very high viral loads (meaning, the density of virus on a nasopharyngeal swab as interpreted from PCR cycle threshold numbers).

a. Viral loads are much higher in people infected with Delta than they were in people

infected with Alpha.

b. Viral loads with Delta are equally high whether the person has been vaccinated or not.

c. Viral load is an indicator of infectiousness. [13,14] The more virus one has in the nose and mouth, the more likely it is to be in this individual’s respiratory droplets and

secretions, and to spread to others.

6) Due to evolution of the virus itself, all the currently licensed vaccines (all based on the original Wuhan strain spike protein sequence) have lost their ability to accomplish vaccine purpose 2(b),

above, “To keep people from carrying the infection and transmitting it to others.”

7) Vaccine mandates are thus stripped of their justification, since to vaccinate an individual no longer stops or even slows his ability to acquire and transmit the virus to others.

8) Under Delta, natural immunity is much more protective than vaccination. All severities of COVID-19 illness produce healthy levels of natural immunity.

The Documentary Evidence:

Brandi Melvin

Nunya Business, EXACTLY! None of it makes sense! All these politicians that spew this nonsense are sick!

Nunya Business

The article admits that 80% of adults in Virginia have had at least one vaccine. That the cases are down this week, yet the cases are doubled from what they were last year- before the vaccines. Let that sink in. There are double the amount of cases with the vaccines, than before the vaccines. How does this make a case for getting vaccinated?

Here are some recent statistics from Victoria, Australia.

The health minister Martin Foley said there are 375 people currently hospitalized with Covid. He said out of those 375 people, 78% are fully vaccinated and 17% had one vaccine. That is a total of 95%.

That means a total of 356 of the Covid patients in their hospitals have been fully or partially injected, and only 19 are unvaccinated. Out of the 375 patients, 81 are in the ICU. Even if all 19 unvaccinated patients happen to be in ICU, that means 62 of the Covid ICU patients are vaccinated.

This is just one example. There are many examples like this from around the world. America is no different.

Ask yourself, why the unvaccinated are being blamed, when there are more vaccinated people in the hospitals with Covid? And when did this change from stopping deaths from Covid, to simply stopping cases? Why does the governor and the media say that nurses are worn ragged, but there are no hospitals around us that are being overrun with Covid patients? If nurses are being run ragged, it is because there is a nursing shortage. It’s that simple.

I have spoken with many nurses in various hospitals throughout VA. They are not exhausted due to Covid patients, they are exhausted because of the nursing shortage, which started prior to Covid, and got worse in 2020 as hospitals laid off staff for lack of patients. Now the hospitals are firing their staff for refusing the vaccines, while at the same time claiming to be overrun. Many of the healthcare workers have already contracted Covid by taking care of Covid patients, all last year, and they did it without a vaccine. This means many of them have natural immunity. Which means they do not need a vaccine for Covid, yet these people are being threatened with losing their livelihoods if they refuse to submit to unscientific, medical tyranny.

John Dutko

1) One dose is not fully vaccinated.

2) Last year there were lockdowns and less mingling of people.

3) You are misquoting a gaffe: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-01/coronacheck-martin-foley-vaccination-gaffe/100504420

4) The majority of Republicans (who also fall for MLM schemes) are just too invested in the anti-vaxx movement and do not realize that they hurt national security interests.

5) Medical tyranny would be forced abortions. The vaccinations are to prolong life. If you want to be pro-Covid, please don't come to the hospital when you have trouble breathing. Don't take up a bed from a cancer patient or a person suffering a heart attack.

6) Nurses (and the medical field in general) are baffled at how stupid and careless the unvaccinated are. Not only are they selfish and make it about them, but they think that they are ENTITLED to treatment when they won't do the bare minimum to for PREVENTION. So die at home and do everyone a favor.

Nunya Business

According to the CDC, the virus has a 99.9 percent survival rate for those under 50. The majority of people that have died from Covid, were either elderly, and/or obese and had at least two comorbidities. Children are the least affected by this virus and have an almost 0 percent chance of dying from it. We already reached herd immunity, through a combination of vaccines, and through the millions of people who acquired natural immunity over the last 20 months by contracting Covid and surviving. Natural immunity is Always better than a vaccine, and those who have had the virus, like my entire family, do not need a vaccine. Those who wanted the injections, got them. That means they are safe. If they are not safe from the unvaccinated, then they are admitting the vaccines don’t work. The manufacturers acknowledge that the injections will not keep anyone from contracting Covid, and will not keep them from transmitting it. They claim it will only lessen the severity of symptoms. This means it is not a true vaccine. The purpose of a vaccine is to give immunity. This means the injection is a therapeutic, much like OTC cold and Flu medicines which only lessen the severity of symptoms. If you are one of the people that believes everyone in the world needs to be forced vaccinated, for a highly survivable virus, with a vaccine that is still in clinical trials until January of 2023, in order to function in society, and be able to feed their families, then you are lost. If you have not yet caught on that this is not about public health safety, but about authoritarian control of the population, then you are blind. If you believe that our hospitals are being overrun with Covid patients, specifically unvaccinated Covid patients, then you have been deceived. If you don’t believe that the government and the pharmaceutical companies are in bed with one another, and don’t believe they stand to make billions from the vaccines they are pushing as the only way out of the pandemic, and if you believe they have the public’s best interest at heart, and would never inadvertently or purposefully cause harm to the public, then you are suffering from cognitive dissonance. If you can’t see that we are being divided into two classes of people, then you are ignorant of the world’s history.

Millions of us have been living our lives, as normal as possible since all of this began, and we are not dying from Covid. Our friends and families are not dying from Covid. We are catching colds, catching Covid, and we are living. Stop with the fear mongering, stop with the despotism. Stop coming after our children. They are not a threat to anyone. Again, for the hard of hearing, I repeat, yes, people have contracted this virus and have died, but this virus is highly survivable, anyone who wanted the vaccines got them, that means the vaccinated are safe from the unvaccinated. Turn of the boob-tube, stop living in fear, stop denying the statistics and actual science, and leave the rest of us alone.

John Dutko

You should tell that to the 30 year-old soldier that I know who is now getting med-boarded because he requires a tank of oxygen in order to do menial tasks.

No wonder red states are being hit the hardest. Keep it up though, Dems need all the votes they can get.

Kermit Robat

@John Dutko

Here are the covid and pneumonia death stats from January 1, 2020 through yesterday.

Age / Covid Fatalities / Pneumonia Fatalities

0-17 / 478 / 985

18 - 29 / 3573 / 3425

30 - 39 / 10324 / 8925

For older demographics, covid is extremely dangerous and the vast majority (95%) of all covid fatalities in the US were people aged 50+. I wish your soldier friend the best, but it helps to put these numbers in perspective and for people under the age of 40 the likelihood of dying from covid is on par with pneumonia. And the last time I checked, not too many people under 40 worry much about pneumonia, save for those with server pre-existing medical conditions.

By the way, we've been at this for 20+ months and just this week the number of adolescent covid fatalities (478) matched the number of adolescent flu fatalities (477) in the 2018 flu season. Remember back in the 2018 flu season when everyone was making children wear masks is school? Neither do I.

John Dutko

Thank you for the stats.

What does the CDC recommend people do in order to combat the spread?

Here is the .pdf: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/communication/Guidance-Review.pdf

Here is the general guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance.html

Kermit Robat

All data compliments of the US CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

Tp Ll

Sure, then explain your COVID shot nonsense to the guys who died from it in Astan, including one who died while aboard the medevac flight. Pulmonary embolisms, all of them. Thanks for playing.

Kermit Robat

For those that are interested, Dan Crenshaw had Dr. Scott Gottlieb on his podcast last Wednesday (Sept 22). Dr. Gottlieb is the former head of the FDA.

It was an interesting discussion covering many aspects of the US response to covid, including the vaccines, which were obviously instrumental in facilitating an end to the pandemic.

Tp Ll

Natural immunity already kicked in long before any potential vaccine effect. Those 50% who were asymptomatic this past year? They were already immune. Prior HCOV exposure, primarily from colds, is the leading theory behind this immunity.

Missy Richter

As doctors have proven without any doubt “vaccination with mRNA increases the risk of myocarditis.” “Research shows that most individuals with myocarditis do not have any symptoms. Complications of myocarditis include dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death and carries a mortality rate of 20% at one year and 50% at 5 years.

Missy Richter

Another US military medical finding:

Another ingredient in the vaccine is a known toxic chemical: “Polyethylene Glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze.” There have been countless cases where people have been fatally poisoned with this chemical. This comment by the Colonel is especially impressive: “I cannot discern what form of alchemy Pfizer and the FDA have discovered that would make antifreeze into a healthful cure to the human body.”

Tom Manson

Polyethylene glycol is also found in several things you use every day: toothpaste, skin creams, and laxatives. It is used to stabilize the genetics we need to stimulate the response. Asking questions is good, sharing hysteria is not.

Missy Richter

None of these examples you listed are injected into your body and bloodstream.

Missy Richter

US military findings: With regard to the Pfizer vaccine, “One of the primary ingredients of the Lipid Nanoparticle delivery system is “ALC 1035.” This is a toxic material. It “comprises between 30-50% of the total ingredients.” Among a number of serious possible effects is this reality: “Caution: Product has not been fully validated for medical applications. For research use only.” Also noted: “Other journals and scientific papers also denote that this particular ingredient has never been used in humans before.”

Tom Manson

I can't find a single legitimate news source that mirrors her testimony, confirms her statements or confirms she exists. Millions have taken the vaccine without consequence. Quit spreading lies.

Kermit Robat

@Missy Richter

I tried defending your credibility earlier in this thread, but I can't help you when you post nonsense like this.

You and John are just different sides of the same crazy coin.

Missy Richter

4,600+ Doctors, Scientists Accuse COVID Policymakers of ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ Northam and his corrupt administration is part of this. Our kids are not Guinea pigs!

John Dutko

Feel free to homeschool then. Stop being pro-Covid.

Kermit Robat

@John Dutko

Serious question - what does it mean to be pro-covid?

Follow-up question, is the UK, which just approved the vaccine for children 12-15 earlier this month and which doesn't recommend masking for children (<12) in schools, pro-covid? Is the European Union, which also doesn't recommend masking for children (<12) in schools similarly pro-covid, or is it just the vaccine stance that earns this moniker?

John Dutko

Glad you asked.

To be pro-Covid is to ignore the guidance of the Center for Disease Control; to habitually engage in conspiracy theories and home remedies that, if they were truly effective, the world-over would have adopted them; to think it is an act of courage not to do the bare minimum in order to stunt the spread.

We all have a mutual moral obligation in the prevention of infectious diseases from spreading, mutating, and overcoming our collective efforts. And looking at the vaccination rates (a major player in the effort against the virus), Europe as a whole seems to have their collective sh!t together: https://vaccinetracker.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/vaccine-tracker.html#uptake-tab

The American problem is one of disinformation and tribalism. I don't know vaccinations are a point of contention with certain political ideologies, and at this point just don't care. Those that are pro-Covid want to continue the spread and are not proactive in prevention or mitigation. And I have no sympathy for them when they get their Herman Cain award.

Kermit Robat

@John Dutko

So by your definition, both the UK and the EU, which in contradiction to the US CDC guidance do not recommend masking children under 12 in schools, are pro-covid.

As for Ms. Richter, she has a grand total of two posts on this forum. The first was more than a year ago and had nothing to do with covid. Her two-sentence post to which you responded was focused entirely on vaccinating children and a rather color perspective on the Northam administration. How can she possibly meet your criteria of, "to habitually engage in conspiracy theories and home remedies...." and thus earn your pro-covid moniker?

Then you write, “The American problem is one of disinformation and tribalism. I don't know vaccinations are a point of contention with certain political ideologies, and at this point just don't care. Those that are pro-Covid want to continue the spread and are not proactive in prevention or mitigation. And I have no sympathy for them when they get their Herman Cain award.”

I’ll admit, this paragraph was a gem. You cite disinformation and tribalism as a problem and then spend the rest of the paragraph unequivocally demonstrating your own tribalism. Well done!

By the way, you know who is not even close to recommending covid vaccinations for children under 12?.....the UK.

John Dutko

LOL, who gives a damn about the UK? Look at Brexit and how their whole economy is screwed because of conservative wack-job policies! At least the Brits have free healthcare.

I still stand by calling people pro-Covid because of their reckless actions and confusion of what they consider liberty.

Are you doing your part or do you support the spread?

John Dutko

Also, the whole "4,600+ Doctors, Scientists Accuse COVID Policymakers of ‘Crimes Against Humanity" phrase is repeated all over the fringe medical websites. And they refer to the Barrington declaration, a debunked organization that you promoted before. Get outta here with your nonsense and deliberate misinformation.

Kermit Robat

@John Dutko

As for the European vaccination rates....

In the EU, for adults age 18+, 78.8% have at least one dose and 72.6% are fully vaccinated. The comparable US numbers of 77.1% and 66.6%.

Sure, I'd like to see the US numbers higher, but really, that's the difference which in your opinion warrants ad hominem attacks calling your fellow citizens tribalistic conspiracy theorists and as you said of the Europeans, having your *stuff* together?

John Dutko

The same tribalistic pro-Covid nutjobs run in the same social circles as the insurrectionists from January 6th.

Larry Lyons

Tinfoil hat on too tight there Missy? Because that's the only rational explanation that I can come up with to such a lunatic comment. And please keep your precious little disease bags home, I don't want my kids needlessly exposed to COVID or any childhood disease. It is your sort that is now responsible for the pandemic lasting so long.

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