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Virginia expecting to have enough coronavirus vaccine for 96% of top-priority groups before 2021

The first dose of the vaccine will go towards health care personnel and long-term care facility residents

The VDH announced Virginia's vaccination priorities for the first shipment of doses.

ROANOKE, Va. – Before the year’s end, Virginia hopes to have nearly all the COVID-19 vaccine it needs to fully vaccinate the state’s two top-priority groups.

The state is preparing to receive an estimated total of 480,000 doses of vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

[Gov. Northam lays out state’s three-phased coronavirus vaccine distribution plan]

Officials said that the first doses will be given to health care personnel and long-term care facility residents.

VDH estimates there are up to 500,000 members of these two groups.

“Vaccine will be provided to Virginians in a way that is fair, ethical, and transparent,” said Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver. “We will focus initially on the groups that have been most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 infections and those whose work puts them at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 infections.”

Both vaccines require two doses, and VDH expects to receive the second doses for the 480,000 at the appropriate time it’s needed.

[Virginia sees 2,877 new coronavirus cases, now reporting 247,380 statewide]

Oliver said that as more vaccine supply becomes available over time, the more Virginians will be able to get vaccinated.

The first shipment, containing 72,150 doses of vaccines, is expected to be received from Pfizer in mid-December with subsequent weekly shipping to follow.

[CDC now recommends universal mask use when you’re inside anywhere but your home]

On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam detailed Virginia’s three-phased plan to distribute the vaccine.

After health care personnel and long-term care facility residents will be Phase II, which includes critical infrastructure staff, adults with high-risk medical conditions and adults ages 65 and older.

Lastly, in Phase III, the vaccine will be available for the general public.

The video below is of Northam detailing Virginia’s COVID-19 distribution plan:

Gov. Ralph Northam will give an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.