Virginia Department of Health gives update on COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — There have been some frustrations with the rate of vaccinations across Virginia.

Saturday, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) gave an update on the state’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Saturday, VDH is reporting that its health officials have administered 295,202 doses.

That is out of the total number of vaccines distributed throughout Virginia of 943,400.

They have been steadily increasing the number of doses a day and health department leaders believe they are moving in the right direction.

There are still a lot of questions.

“There is a gap there and I think it’s led a lot of people to ask questions like ‘what is going on? Are doses sitting on shelves? How are we not getting doses to people who need it?'” questioned Dr. Danny Avula.

Leaders said much of that is in part due to the distributors and making sure the vaccine is getting to the right channels.

“Primarily through hospitals, through health departments, through private providers, through pharmacies, and then also through the long-term care facilities,” said Avula.

As we move forward into phase 1b, we know people like first responders, childcare workers, and food service workers will be included — but the Commonwealth has taken the suggestion to add another group to the 1b category.

“As a Commonwealth, we decided to follow the federal government’s lead and add those 65 and up and those with underlying conditions to our phase 1b,” Avula continued.

They are now getting more than 100,000 doses a week and much of the state is looking for the second dose shipment.

“This vaccine is a two-dose vaccine and the way the federal government has been out allocating that, they’ve been sending out doses and holding back second doses. Then, delivering the second doses to different providers as they came up ready to do that round of second doses. So, we are hearing very consistent messaging that all of those doses will be released,” he said.

Overall, the future of the vaccine in the state is relies on one thing.

“Our future allocations, our ability to get more vaccines in Virginia is really going to be dependent on having clear and accurate data, and knowing how much, exactly, the vaccine has been used,” he said.

State leaders say they expect more shipments to come sometime in March.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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