Governor Ralph Northam announced more details on the future vaccination plans on Wednesday as Virginia continues to lag behind other states in vaccination rates.
Here are the details from Northam’s announcement:
- Vaccination goal. Governor Northam set an initial goal of vaccinating 25,000 Virginians each day when supply allows.
- ‘Use it or lose it’ model. Medical facilities will be required to put the vaccine they receive into arms as soon as possible, or risk having future vaccine allotments reduced.
- Dr. Danny T.K. Avula to lead vaccination efforts in Virginia. Governor Northam appointed Dr. Avula, who serves as director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments to coordinate work between state officials, local health departments, hospitals, and private providers.
- Expanded priority groups. Governor Northam announced that K-12 teachers and child care workers will be among the next priority groups to receive vaccinations after Group A, and outlined the populations that will be included in Groups B and C.
- Elevating the Virginia National Guard. As the Commonwealth receives more doses, the Virginia National Guard will provide logistical support and help local health departments will administering vaccines.
The Governor also provided more insight into the next group of citizens that will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Officials are currently vaccinating Group A, which consists of healthcare workers and individuals at long-term care facilities. The next phase, ‘Group B” will include frontline essential workers in specific industries, K-12 teachers and staff, childcare providers, adults age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps.
The Governor’s office said they expect to begin vaccinating Group B towards the end of January.
Group C will include other essential workers, adults age 65 and older, and people age 16-64 with certain medical conditions or disabilities that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Governor Northam did not indicate when Group C would possibly receive the vaccination.
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