COVID-19 vaccine to be rationed in Richmond/Henrico as supply is limited

Weekly vaccine talk aims to keep people informed with rapidly changing information

COVID-19 vaccine to be rationed in Richmond/Henrico as supply is limited

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond-Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) says COVID-19 vaccines will need to be rationed in coming weeks as supply is extremely low.

Monday, health leaders held what they hope to be a weekly conversation to keep everyone on the same page.

RHHD expect a total of 6,400 COVID-19 vaccine doses each week for the next six to eight weeks. That’s about one-fourth of the amount requested and one-fourth of actual vaccination capacity.

“We do want to be really intentional with that pie of vaccines that we’re getting every week,” said Amy Popovich, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts Nurse Manager.

Popovich is hosting a new weekly online community conversation about the vaccine as information is rapidly changing.

“We are having to prioritize those even within the 65 population as we’re looking to again ensure the highest burden of disease so those who are oldest as we know and look at those who have had highest hospitalizations and death counts,” said Popovich.

With a shortage, Popovich says half of each weekly vaccine shipment will go to seniors. 40% will go to essential workers, leaving 10% for shelters and jails.

“We anticipate that our infrastructure for dispensing and administering the vaccine is about 25,000 for Richmond and Henrico and our partners and about 40,000 for the region. So the vaccine supply is really currently what’s limiting us,” said Popovich.

At least 60,000 people are on the health districts’ interest list for the vaccine in Richmond and Henrico. 40,000 of them are seniors.

“We will call you. Our folks on our team are going to diligently reach out and make sure each person has an appointment and understands where to go and when to go,” said Popovich.

RHHD have administered more than 11,500 vaccines to date. Next week, they will talk about equity issues around the vaccine.

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