(Opinion) MMR vaccine

Gov. Northam announced last Thursday that the COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible for everyone age 16 and up in Virginia by April 18.

This is a milestone in the race to end the pandemic. Gov. Northam has made significant strides to vaccinate the highest risk groups first and has requested more federal supplies ahead of the surge of millions of new eligible people.

Gov. Northam stated in a press conference that the COVID-19 vaccine is the “light at the end of the tunnel,” and expanding vaccine eligibility is the key to ending the pandemic.

As of now, 1 in 3 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 1 in 5 people are fully vaccinated. “Those that are essential workers and with qualifying health conditions are planned to be scheduled for appointments to receive their vaccinations by April 17,” said Dena Potter, spokesperson for Virginia’s vaccine rollout.

Vaccines have been distributed at health clinics and hospitals through funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program. Distribution centers are located in Alexandria, Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Petersburg and a new site is opening up in Suffolk this week. Norfolk is the site distributing the most doses as they give 3,000 doses a day for seven days a week.

Virginians have been scheduling appointments through preregistration by the state’s central website, https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/; pharmacies that list appointments at https://vaccinefinder.org/, and by invitation from a medical physician.

The New River Valley region is operating in Phase 2 which includes everyone 16 and over who were not eligible in Phases 1a, 1b and 1c. All college students are eligible for the vaccine starting April 18.

To get a vaccine in the New River Valley region, you must pre-register through the Virginia Department of Health’s central website and wait to be scheduled for an appointment. Vaccination sites are located in Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford.

Recommended Stories