Virginia

Virginia tops 2M fully vaccinated on eve of expanded eligibility

More than 2 million residents of Virginia are now full vaccinated as the state nears the opening of vaccination appointment for all people 16 and older, according to Virginia health officials.

On Friday, the Virginia Department of Health reported that 2,002,007 Virginians, or 23.5 percent of the state’s population, were fully vaccinated.

According to VDH data, 5,105,585 total doses have been administered, with 3,300,058 people, or 38.7 percent of the state’s population, receiving at least their first dose. The seven-day average on Friday was 77,755 doses administered in Virginia.

Local health departments lead the state with 1,510,332 total doses given, followed by 1,258,486 given at pharmacies. Hospitals have administered a total of 952,707 vaccines. Medical practices are next with 763,472 doses administered followed by community health providers at 620,588.

When Virginia opens up COVID-19 vaccinations for 16 and older residents on Sunday, people looking to book an appointment will encounter a different scheduling process.

The vaccinate.virginia.gov website will switch over from focusing on pre-registration to helping Virginians schedule their own appointment for a vaccine. The VDH site will link to the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool, which is a searchable map-based site that allows people to find available vaccine appointments at Community Vaccination Centers, local health district clinics, pharmacies and hospitals near them.

The Fairfax County Health District, which has been operating its own pre-registration system for much of the last two months, informed residents Wednesday that they would need to start using VaccineFinder.org to make appointments when the county enters Phase 2 on Sunday.

The state’s vaccination system, Vaccinate.Virginia.gov, will remain open after April 18 to help schedule appointments for individuals with Phase 1 eligibility. After April 18, people in the Phase 1 priority group can schedule an appointment either through VaccineFinder.org or VaccinateVirginia.gov. The can also request help scheduling appointments by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam shared a video message encouraging Virginians seeking a vaccination opportunity to call the statewide call center or use the new Vaccinate Virginia website to find vaccine providers starting Sunday.

By opening vaccinations to everyone 16 and older on Sunday, Virginia will meet a nationwide goal set by President Joe Biden that all adults be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19. – PATCH

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