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COVID-19 vaccines now available for all Virginia adults

Syringes await use at a vaccination clinic in Virginia.
Syringes await use at a vaccination clinic in Virginia.(WDBJ7 Photo)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 8:41 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - All of Virginia’s health districts moved into Phase 2 on Sunday, opening eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to anyone 16 and older.

In a video message on Friday, Governor Ralph Northam announced the eligibility expansion that allows three million more people to be qualified for a vaccine.

Addie Morley, a 16-year-old from Virginia, is one of those people who now qualify to receive a vaccine.

“It feels good to know it’s finally happening,” Morley said.

Morley said she’s pre-registered for the vaccine and is excited to finally be eligible for the shot.

“When I get it, it means that I don’t have the risk of getting it myself or passing it along to other people,” she said. “It’s good to know that once I get it, it’s a little more helpful to everyone else.”

People who qualify for the vaccine can search for nearby appointments through vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA.

“Pharmacies, different providers, health departments, and some of the larger vaccination clinics happening around the state will all have open availability on the website,” said Danny Avula, state vaccine coordinator.

Dr. Avula says higher demand in localities like Richmond and Northern Virginia could impact how soon people would be able to sign up for a shot.

“Just because we’re in open eligibility doesn’t mean that people will be able to get vaccinated tomorrow, and it may not even mean you have the opportunity to make an appointment for a few days or even a couple of weeks,” he said.

This week, Dr. Avula says Virginia will receive about 220,000 first doses of Pfizer and Moderna along with 210,000 second doses of those two vaccines.

He says this phase will help Virginia reach one of their goals.

“We should be able to get everybody who wants to be vaccinated, at least their first dose, by the end of May,” said Avula.

Dr. Avula also hopes this phase will help the state reach their goal of vaccinating all Virginians by the end of summer.

He also said people who qualify under high-risk groups will get priority for appointments.

Northam will be providing an update on the state’s COVID-19 effort on Monday, April 19 at 2:15 p.m.

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