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Virginia planning to release 40,000 coronavirus vaccines first-doses by Sunday

These doses come from hospital that were saving these for second doses

Gov. Ralph Northam praised the amount of people Virginia has vaccinated so far, but said there's much more work to be done.

Having reached the initial goal of 25,000 coronavirus vaccine shots a day, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is now looking to hit the next goal of 50,000 daily shots.

While speaking Wednesday during a COVID-19 update, Northam announced changes to current procedures to help achieve that goal.

One part of the plan is to have hospitals decrease the number of vaccines they’re holding for second doses.

Northam said he’s looking to get 40,000 of those held doses into arms as a first dose by Sunday.

Secondly, starting with Thursday’s vaccine order, Virginia will start getting a 16% increase in weekly dose shipments.

With more vaccine doses, Virginia will be able to vaccinate more people

Looking at a more vulnerable population, Northam said he talked with leaders at Walgreens and CVS, the federal vaccine distribution partners, to speed up their efforts to vaccinate those living in long-term care facilities.

As health districts at how to vaccinate people based upon the current phases, Northam announced how doses should allocate them, splitting them equally among two groups.

Moving forward, half of should go to those 65 and older the other half should go to members of the following group:

  • Frontline essential workers in priority order
  • Those 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions or disability
  • Those in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps

Northam also addressed another problem Virginia is looking to solve when it comes to vaccinations, the issue of race/ethnicity transparency within the vaccination process.

On Monday, Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver wrote to every clinician in Virginia to start collecting race/ethnicity data.

The governor also mentioned that he is backing bills in the General Assembly making it a requirement to have this data from those being vaccinated.

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.