Chesterfield County Supervisors: Virginia vaccine campaign is totally defective

Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:35 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors sent a scathing letter to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam over a slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The letter comes as the health district - covering Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights and Powhatan County - is changing how it’s getting people signed up for a shot in the arm. Tuesday afternoon, select seniors got the COVID-19 vaccine at Chesterfield Fairgrounds.

“Our citizens are to some degree and in some cases beyond frustrated. We are frustrated. So we want to make sure we’re working together collaboratively,” said Holland.

Overnight, dozens of people living in Chesterfield County reached out to NBC12 reporting confusion and frustration over a lack of information from the health district.

Now, the health district launched an online interest form to fill out for those who are currently eligible for the vaccine.

“We don’t want our citizens waiting two hours or more online or unable to sign up online,” said Holland.

Most localities are still vaccinating people in group 1A and parts of group 1B.

The Chesterfield County Board of supervisors is now blasting Governor Ralph Northam for his handling of the vaccine rollout. The three-page letter saying in part, “At this rate, we are six-plus months from achieving the goal of vaccinating the employees deemed essential for the continuity of government and schools,” adding. “What’s happening now is neither equitable nor fair.”

“We want the governor to at least authorize us to identify sites, vaccination sites. We want him to allow us to assist with the logistics and the other networks we have available right here in Chesterfield County,” said Holland.

The governor’s office issued the following statements to NBC12:

“The Governor shares the frustration in Chesterfield—and across Virginia—that the national vaccine supply is currently so limited. The entire Commonwealth, which includes 133 different localities, is currently receiving 105,000 doses per week from the federal government. That’s about a third of the doses requested by localities and health systems last week, and nowhere near our capacity to administer shots.”

“As of today, Virginia has administered about 50 percent of the doses distributed to us. That is due to a few different factors: 1) data entry issues undercounting our progress; 2) allocation to the federal partnership responsible for vaccinating long-term care facilities; and 3) some providers who are continuing to save shots for future use. We have made immense progress in addressing these challenges, and the Governor will update Virginians on next steps during tomorrow’s press conference. While we are nearly at our goal of 25k shots per day—more than twice as many as we were giving two weeks ago—we have additional work ahead.”

“According to today’s CDC data, Virginia has administered nearly 7,000 doses per 100k people. That’s better than 24 other states, including our neighbors of: Tennessee, Maryland, and North Carolina. We have administered approximately 51% of the doses received. That’s very close to the national total (53%), and better than 13 other states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.”

“And as you know, we are nearly at the Governor’s goal -- set less than three weeks ago -- to get to 25k shots per day. Over the last four days, Virginia administered over 30k shots per day. The Governor will outline steps to improve on this further at tomorrow’s press conference.”

The Crater Health District, covering places like Petersburg and Hopewell, currently does not have an online interest form.

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