Roughly 140,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Virginia on Wednesday after the state had initially placed an order with the company last week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said in a news release.
Shipments of Moderna’s vaccine, approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, as well as Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine are being delivered to healthcare facilities and health departments across the Commonwealth this week. The two vaccines are going to 96 “geographically diverse locations” in the state, according to the release.
That distribution includes an additional weekly allocation of 50,000 doses from Pfizer, the VDH said.
“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic. With Pfizer-BioNTech and now Moderna vaccines available, more Virginians are able to get vaccinated,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said.
“The interest we are seeing from community members on when they can get vaccinated indicates people want this protection,” Oliver continued. “We are working hard to get vaccines to people as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please continue to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.”
For the next several weeks, Virginia is planning to receive a weekly allocation of 100,000 vaccine doses, split evenly between the two producers, based on estimates from Operation Warp Speed, but that number is a projection and could be different depending on how quickly the vaccines are manufactured, the release said.
Under phase 1 of Virginia’s vaccination plan and prioritization guidelines, people in group 1a – healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff – will be receiving the first wave of vaccines.
However, only healthcare workers who directly care for or interact with COVID patients are currently getting vaccinated while the initial supply is limited.
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities will be getting their vaccinations onsite from CVS and Walgreens teams through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program.
Earlier this week, CVS formally began its nationwide vaccination program and is expected to begin work in Virginia on December 28 at 874 care facilities across the state. In a release last Friday, Walgreens announced it had started administering vaccines in Ohio and Connecticut, but did not offer any specifics about Virginia.
Virginia has been getting shipments of the Pfizer vaccine since the beginning of last week and thousands of front-line healthcare personnel in the state have already been vaccinated by now.
The VDH still encourages people to follow health and safety measures by wearing a mask, staying at least six feet apart from others, frequently washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings with anyone who is not a member of your household to help curb the spread of COVID.
In separate vaccine news, Pfizer and BioNTech announced a second agreement with the U.S. government on Wednesday morning to supply another 100 million doses of the companies’ vaccine, bringing the total so far to 200 million. The companies expect to deliver the full order by July 31st, 2021.
For more information about the VDH’s vaccination plan, please visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
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