ROANOKE, Va – More COVID-19 vaccines are on the way to Virginia, but health leaders say it could still take several weeks to move to the next phase of vaccination.
Everyone in Virginia who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will get one, according to Dr. Danny Avula with the Virginia Department of Health
“The capacity is there. The health department’s the health systems mass vaccination events, and then pharmacies and providers. The capacity is there now the question is, can we sustain that seven days a week moving forward,” Avula said.
Avula has been overseeing the entire state’s vaccination process. He says he sympathizes with those who have had canceled vaccination appointments due to supply shortages.
Two weeks ago, the Commonwealth announced it would be giving out doses to health districts based on population.
“What we will do each week is that we will we will tweak the distribution algorithm based on the vaccine administration rates so looking around what parts of the state have not been vaccinating at the same rate as others,” Avula said.
Starting next week, Virginia will see a 5% increase in doses. Avula says while southwest Virginia health districts may not be getting all the doses they want right now, he is impressed with the rollout.
“Southwest Virginia has actually done remarkably well I think both the health department’s that have set up large scale vaccinations the incredible efforts of health systems, we’ve seen really high rates of vaccination I know it may not feel that way, but the reality is that everybody’s kind of feeling the burden right now,” Avula said.
Avula says pharmacies like CVS will also help improve vaccination rates in the state.