RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health is moving forward with new targets for getting the COVID-19 vaccine out to you.
But, the man in charge of leading the effort says vaccine supply will ultimately dictate that timeline.
VDH hopes to hit Governor Ralph Northam’s target of 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine shots in arms per day by Feb. 14 and 50,000 shots per day by April 1.
“I think it’s the right goal to build the vaccine infrastructure for, right? Like that 50,000 number wasn’t an arbitrary number,” said Dr. Danny Avula, who Northam tapped to help ramp up vaccination efforts.
As of Tuesday, the state is averaging more than 17,000 shots per day. Dr. Avula says that number is likely higher but their reporting systems are still plagued with compatibility issues.
“That’s on us. We’ve got to figure that out and we’ve got to fix the data accuracy so Virginians know what’s happening,” said Dr. Avula.
On Tuesday, Virginia Republicans, including House Minority leader Todd Gilbert, called out Northam’s vaccine plan for being too slow.
“We think this is being mismanaged at the highest level and it’s really, it’s really infuriating to see people’s public health and individual health being threatened by such mismanagement,” said Del. Todd Gilbert, (R) 15th District.
The governor’s office is firing back saying in a statement, “Todd Gilbert and his crew have spent a year pretending this pandemic is not a problem—we’re pleased he’s finally realized the scope of federal mismanagement. Instead of playing politics, the Governor is focused on getting as many people vaccinated as quickly and as equitably as possible. I would also note that Virginia has administered more than 340,000 doses of the vaccine—as of this weekend, we’ve given more shots than 35 other states.”
In Virginia, COVID-19 vaccines are available to people in phase 1A and 1B.
Mass public vaccination clinics, where about 1,000 doses can be given in a day, are also being planned across the state. Three potential sites in the Richmond-area are Chesterfield fairgrounds, Arthur Ashe Center and Richmond Raceway.
“To do that we’re going to need our hospitals and health systems, our doctors’ offices, our pharmacies and our health departments but we’re going to need more capacity to get to that kind of daily thru-put,” said Dr. Avula.
On VDH’s website, you can fill out a survey and learn about when you can get the vaccine and details will be added on where.
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