Virginia to distribute 480,000 vaccine doses by end of month

Long-term care residents and front-line health care providers will be the first Virginia residents to be offered the COVID-19 vaccine, which is approximately 500,000 individuals. The state is set to receive 480,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the month.

 

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“(The) vaccine will be provided to Virginians in a way that is fair, ethical and transparent,” Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver, said in a statement. “We will focus initially on the groups that have been most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infections and those whose work puts them at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 infections. Over time, as more vaccine supply becomes available, more Virginians will be able to get vaccinated, and we can look forward to a time when this pandemic will end.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted Tuesday to recommend those groups be the first to receive the vaccine. The Virginia Disaster Medical Advisory Committee and the Virginia Unified Command voted to adopt the ACIP recommendations.

The first shipment of vaccines from Pfizer is expected to arrive mid-month and will need to be stored at -94 degrees F. The first 72,150 doses will go directly to health care systems that are equipped with adequate cold storage. Health care workers who care for COVID-19 patients will be the first to be offered the vaccine. Subsequent shipments will be divided among health care providers and long-term care residents.

Walgreens and CVS teams will deliver the vaccine on-site to long-term care residents through a federal CDC-pharmacy-long-term care partnership. The vaccines will be equitably distributed throughout the state, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

As of Dec. 1, there have been 245,000 COVID-19 cases and 858 deaths among the health care provider population in the United States. As of Nov. 15, 500,000 cases of COVID-19 and 70,000 COVID-related deaths have been linked to U.S. long-term care facilities, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Virginia is 45th in the nation for number of COVID-19 cases per 1 million people and ranks 39th for the number of deaths, according to the dashboard worldometers.com.