Gov. Northam announces Virginia will expand vaccine eligibility to all adults by April 18

Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Governor Ralph Northam announced all eligible Virginians, age 16 and older, can take the COVID-19 vaccine starting on April 18.

Nearly every Virginian in the highest risk groups who have pre-registered for a vaccination appointment has received one, and those still on the pre-registration list will receive appointment invitations within the next two weeks, says the governor’s office.

“I think we can confidently make sure that everyone who’s in phase one and has pre-registered can be invited into an appointment before it opens up to general eligibility,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.

Over 20 of the state’s 35 local health districts have already started vaccinating essential workers in Phase 1c.

Starting on April 4, districts that have invited everyone pre-registered in Phase 1c may invite those who have pre-registered.

All local health districts will have enough vaccines to open appointments to the general public by April 18, based on the federal government’s projected vaccine supply.

Those at the highest risk will continue to receive priority in the scheduling process.

To pre-register for the vaccine, click here or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel—and that light is getting brighter every day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” Gov. Northam said. “We continue to work with diverse providers and community partners across the Commonwealth to distribute vaccines in a fair and equitable way and ensure those at the highest risk are vaccinated first. Expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to put this pandemic behind us, and I thank all of the public health staff, health care workers, vaccinators, and volunteers who have helped make this possible.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Avula also got the Johnson & Johnson, one dose shot at Richmond Raceway Thursday morning.

“I’m going to both be excited about this newfound freedom but also be cautious as we move forward, and until we see rates of disease start to decrease in our community,” said Dr. Avula.

Health workers expect to administer their 100,000th vaccine shot at Richmond Raceway Saturday morning.

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