COVID vaccines available for all Virginia adults beginning Sunday

COVID vaccines available for all Virginia adults beginning Sunday
Governor Northam announced the eligibility expansion earlier in the month. (Source: CNN)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginians 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Sunday, April 18. This expansion comes as the Commonwealth reaches a new milestone in its vaccination program: Approximately half of all adults in Virginia have received at least one dose.

“Over the past few months, we have made tremendous progress vaccinating Virginians as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible, and we need to keep up the good work,” said Governor Northam. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many parts of Virginia and across the country, it is important that everyone has an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment. If you are over 16 and want to get the safe, effective, and free vaccine, please make a plan to get your shot. The more people who get vaccinated, the faster we can end this pandemic and get back to our normal lives.”

Governor Northam announced the eligibility expansion earlier in the month. It precedes President Joe Biden’s nationwide goal that all adults be eligible by April 19. On Friday, the governor shared a video message encouraging Virginians looking for an appointment to call the statewide call center at 877-VAX-IN-VA or use the new Vaccinate Virginia website to find vaccine providers and schedule appointments starting Sunday. The website will link to the CDC’s VaccineFinder site, which has a searchable map tool to help people find appointments at Community Vaccination Centers, local health departments, pharmacies and hospitals.

The governor’s office said demand for the vaccination is expected to continue outpacing supply in some areas of Virginia, meaning those looking for an appointment may have a wait. People who were eligible under Phase 1 who can’t find an appointment should pre-register for a priority appointment using the call center or website.

More than 5 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the Commonwealth so far. About half of adults have received at least one dose, while one in five Virginians are fully vaccinated. At this point, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those 16 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are approved for ages 18 and older. The Northam Administration anticipates that all Virginians who want a vaccine should be able to at least get their first dose by the end of May.

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