Richmond Mayor, health leaders urge patience over COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Richmond Mayor, health leaders urge patience over COVID-19 vaccine rollout

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In Richmond, more than 6,700 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are in arms. It’s far short of where the health department wants to be and those in charge say it’s just going to take time to get to everyone.

“We know that the demand is great. The supply is unfortunately little, and it’s important to hope that that changes now,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Stoney held a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday afternoon. The health department hopes to get to the rest of phase 1B people by the end of this month.

“I would very much appreciate if folks could just have a little bit of patience with this process. In particular, because there are constraints that are out of our control here, even at the state level,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Richmond City Health District.

Also on Wednesday, Richmond Raceway played host to a vaccine clinic. It was for teachers, as well as police, firefighters and others in phase 1B. This is different from other, mass public vaccine clinics likely still weeks away.

“Right now we have lots of capacity to vaccinate but we are - until a little more vaccine becomes available for us from the federal government - we are looking at less vaccine than we might otherwise be able to give out,” said Dr. Viray.

Across Virginia, the average rate of shots in arms continues to climb, now hovering just shy of 19,000. The governor’s office says at this pace, the state is giving out about 5,000 more vaccines each day than are being shipped to the commonwealth. Demand will soon outpace supply.

“I would also emphasize that we are making progress even with these constraints,” said Dr. Viray.

Right now, the state is getting 110,000 doses each week of the vaccine The governor’s goal is to get 50,000 shots into arms on a daily basis by April 1.

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