Richmond’s Health Director preparing for statewide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

Richmond’s Health Director preparing for statewide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia is still some time away before the general public will be able to get ahold of the COVID-19 vaccine. Right now, planning is underway to determine what that will look like when the time comes.

“It’s a huge challenge, and it’s a huge logistical challenge,” said Richmond and Henrico’s Health Director Dr. Danny Avula.

“What we’re talking about is hundreds of thousands of doses, millions of doses eventually coming into Virginia,” he said.

It comes as coronavirus cases continue to soar. Right now, the Richmond area seeing 120 new cases a day.

“When we think back to our peaks over last summer, we’re two to three times the daily case counts that we were seeing at that time,” Avula suggested.

On top of that, the virus is beginning to impact first responders and staff who perform critical government services locally. Sadly, more people are on ventilators in area hospitals.

“As depressing as that is, I think the hope is in what’s coming now in the next few weeks,” Avula said, referring to vaccines.

The state is almost done with the first wave of vaccinations, which began with medical workers and nursing homes. Very soon, those in the next phase will be able to get their shots.

“Police, fire, teachers, child care workers, people who work in the food industry, at grocery stores or restaurants,” Avula said.

A date hasn’t been set yet for that wave just yet.

“Vaccination is what’s going to get us beyond this place we’ve been living in the past year,” he added.

Avula says the health department is working on how to become even more efficient and effective, with the ability to soon vaccinate several thousands of people at different locations across Richmond and Henrico.

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