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Virginia in final phase of pandemic with more COVID vaccine, fewer new cases

‘The vaccines are a light at end of a very long tunnel and that light gets brighter every day.’

Gov. Ralph Northam spoke Tuesday about Virginia's success thus far.
Gov. Ralph Northam spoke Tuesday about Virginia's success thus far.

ROANOKE, Va. – A year after the coronavirus started spreading across the Commonwealth, Virginia is seeing the greatest signs of hope yet with cases trending down and vaccine supply trending up.

Every American who wants a vaccine is expected to be able to get a first dose by the end of May.

In fact, the state’s health leaders said Tuesday that currently, we’re ahead of that pace.

“The vaccines are a light at end of a very long tunnel and that light gets brighter every day,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.

Virginia has already surpassed the governor’s goal, now averaging 51,000 vaccinations a day.

Bit by bit, restrictions are being lifted and life is beginning to look how it did before March 2020.

All of Virginia’s school divisions now have a plan to resume in-person learning and limitations on businesses, gathering sizes and events could be scaled back in April.

“We’re looking at the numbers every day and what we hope is that if these trends continue, that we’ll be able to ease or lift some of the measures that we have put in place,” Northam said.

All this is dependent on vaccine supply.

The Johnson & Johnson rollout provided a huge boost last week but the process wasn’t seamless.

Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts director Dr. Cynthia Morrow said a glitch in the statewide system allowed many lower priority people to get their shots out of turn this weekend.

“I think the important thing is that 8,000 vaccines got into arms and that we will continue to do everything that we can to assure vaccine gets into the right arms,” Morrow said.

This week, the district isn’t receiving even half the doses it did last week.

That’s a trend across the commonwealth, not expecting any significant shipments of Johnson & Johnson until the end of March.

“When will we be able to go back to normal? It’s when we reach herd immunity and when this virus has nowhere to live and it will go away,” Northam said.

Next week, more large-scale clinics will start popping up, including one in Danville, that could vaccinate several hundred to several thousand people a day.

Click here to pre-register for a vaccine.


About the Author:

Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.