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Single-dose vaccine approved

Statewide coronavirus numbers continue to inch downward amidst the news surrounding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) of a third COVID-19 vaccine, the first which can be administered in a single dose.

Saturday, Feb. 27, the FDA issued an EUA for the Janssen single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 18 or older.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Beerse, Belgium, is owned by the company Johnson & Johnson.

Although not as effective as its Pfizer and Moderna counterparts, the Janssen vaccine’s one-dose process is predicted to have a positive effect on the speed of vaccine rollout. Additionally, the Janssen vaccine has a long shelf life and can be stored for months at standard refrigeration temperatures rather than ultra-cold temps.

The approval is welcome news after several weeks of encouraging COVID statistics for Virginia.

Monday, March 1, the state was continuing to see a small drop in its coronavirus figures, although the decrease is beginning to slow compared to the massive drop seen in February.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on Monday the commonwealth was reflecting 1,124 daily reported cases, down slightly from last week’s impressive low of 1,155.

Virginia’s seven-day moving average of coronavirus cases was also down this week, reaching 1,701 cases as compared to last Monday’s 1,962.

Locally, COVID-19 cases have been dropping rapidly over the past few weeks. On Monday, most counties in the Piedmont Health District were displaying numbers similar to the week prior.

Prince Edward County saw 38 new COVID-19 cases, according to the VDH, from the week of Feb. 22 to March 1. Prince Edward has experienced a cumulative total of 1,960 coronavirus cases.

Buckingham County was up 14 cases this week for a cumulative total of 2,042 cases.

In Cumberland County, cases are up 14 this week for a total of 385.

Charlotte County saw 16 new cases this week for a total of 747 since the start of the pandemic.

Lunenburg County saw 17 new cases this week for 643 total.

With every passing week, the populations of local counties become more inoculated against the threat of COVID-19. Last week’s story with percentages of total vaccinated residents per county were incorrectly calculated and overestimated the percentage of vaccinated individuals per county.

As of Monday, March 1, Prince Edward County had distributed 4,375 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 1,223 residents now fully vaccinated. The percentage of Prince Edward residents who are now at least partially vaccinated is 13.8%.

Buckingham has administered 3,725 doses of the vaccine, and 1,032 residents are now fully inoculated. Approximately 15.7% of Buckingham residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Cumberland County saw a large jump in the number of its vaccinated citizens this week. As of Monday, Cumberland has administered 1,696 doses of the vaccine, and 450 individuals are not fully vaccinated. Approximately 12.5% of Cumberland residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Charlotte, 1,939 doses have been administered thus far, with 534 residents fully inoculated. The percentage of Charlotte County citizens who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday was 11.8%.

Lunenburg County has administered approximately 2,679 doses of the vaccine, with 798 residents now fully vaccinated. Approximately 15.4% of Lunenburg residents are at least partially vaccinated.