RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas provided the state with an update on COVID-19 vaccinations during a visit to a mass vaccination site in Richmond.
The vaccination event at Richmond Raceway was closed to the general public; all individuals eligible to receive vaccines at the event have been preregistered by their localities or departments.
“We’re saving lives here today, and it is incredible to see it in action,” Avula said. “This is a phenomenal example of collaboration.”
According to the Virginia Department of Health, as of Wednesday, 39,458 have been fully vaccinated. A total of 320,593 people have been administered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have been in a long dark tunnel for now 10-plus months,” Northam said. “And so this vaccination is literally the light and the hope at the end of that tunnel. If we all continue to work together we can get there.”
A majority of the people fully vaccinated are in the 30-39 age group.
Compared to other states, Virginia is lagging behind when it comes to getting residents vaccinated.
Avula said about 400,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered out of 900,000 doses distributed. He also said about 226,000 of those doses have been earmarked for CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to administer to residents and staff in long-term care facilities as part of the federal pharmacy partnership.
Last week, the governor asked local health districts to ramp up vaccinations. The governor also set an ambitious goal to vaccinate 50,000 Virginians per day after the top priority groups have gotten their shots. Right now, Virginia averages 18,740 shots per day, and the current goal is to get that number up to 25,000 a day.
“We set those type of goals so that we can get Virginians vaccinated by early to mid-summer and finally get this pandemic behind us,” Northam said.