Governor Ralph Northam announces new COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

Governor Ralph Northam announces new COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan and names Dr. Danny Avula as the head of vaccine effort.


Photo by: Stephanie Harris

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been approved for administration to people 18 years of age and older.

Since December 14, 2020, when the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed, the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines has been noticeably slower than expected. Out of the 450,000 vaccines allotted to Virginia, only around 100,000 have been administered. The current plan is to administer 25,000 COVID-19 vaccines a day, which as of January 6 has not been the case. Biology teacher Katie Rhodes isn’t surprised at the slow process of vaccine roll-outs. “This is a large scale distribution that is not easy to coordinate,” Rhodes said. Fortunately, Governor Ralph Northam held a press conference on January 6, addressing concerns about the slow roll-out of vaccines. He stated that once Virginia has enough vaccines, the National Guard will be activated to help distribute 50,000 vaccines a day. To help increase the number of vaccines given on a daily basis, he has also encouraged hospitals to “empty those freezers” by threatening to reduce the number of COVID-19 vaccines that are delivered to the offending hospitals. To make sure that the vaccines are distributed as efficiently as possible, Gov. Ralph Northam has named Dr. Danny Avula, the director of the Richmond City and Henrico County health departments, as the head of the vaccine effort.

In Virginia there is a four-stage plan. The first phase consists of healthcare workers and long-term care patients; the second phase consists of first responders, child care workers, k-12 teachers, essential workers in manufacturing and people over the age of 75; the third stage consists of essential worker adults over the age of 65 and people from 14-64 with high-risk medical conditions; and the last stage is the general public. Currently, if everything goes as planned, the general public could expect to receive vaccinations by the summer of 2021.

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