Tazewell, Va. – While it’s not going as fast as planned Coronavirus vaccines are being distributed.
President Donald Trump announced a goal of having 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020 the actual number was slightly over 2 million. Virginia Department Health Director of Division of Immunization Christy Gray addressed the issues in the Commonwealth during a press briefing Dec. 30.
Gray said the Commonwealth and other states received fewer doses of the vaccine than originally announced. Operation Warp Speed originally said the state would get 480,000 doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna and the amount was later reduced to 370,650.
Every state had its number of doses reduced because of miscalculations. She said 140,000 of those doses had been received by Dec. 23 and by Dec. 30 54,295 had been given.
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Eighteen Virginia hospitals received the initial shipment of the Pfizer vaccine the week of December 18 and began dispersing those shipments of 72,125 doses to front line healthcare workers.
Virginia also received approximately 140,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine the week of December 23 and both the previously approved Pfizer vaccine, Moderna vaccines are being distributed to a total of 96 sites geographically dispersed throughout the Commonwealth.
By New Year’s Eve 64,882 doses of vaccine had been distributed statewide. The dashboard showed 324 doses distributed in Tazewell County. Local first responders and police officers received their first doses during the week of Dec. 27-31.
Buchanan County had 207 doses distributed; Dickenson was at 132 and Russell at 398.
She said Virginia is planning for weekly allocation of a total of 100,000 doses of vaccine which is about 6,000 per each type for the next few weeks. “The actual amount of the vaccine received in Virginia is a moving target and is dependent on when and how quickly vaccinations are manufactured,’ she said.
Health districts have been working with healthcare systems to plan how to provide the vaccine to those allocated in Group 1A which are healthcare personnel and in long-term care facilities.
She said the health department is working to get more efficient but 47,000 doses in two weeks is not a small number and expressed pride in the workers for accomplishing that. She said the goal is to get the vaccine to where it can be distributed like the regular flu vaccine with people getting it in their doctor’s offices, pharmacies and at health fairs.