More Than 40,000 Virginians Have Received COVID-19 Vaccines So Far

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Roughly 41,709 Virginians have received first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines so far, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), as the state continues its efforts to reach herd immunity and put an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the VDH launched the COVID-19 vaccine data dashboard, which will be updated daily to keep the public informed about the number of vaccines distributed and administered as well as the demographics of recipients.

In a press release, State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said the VDH is releasing the data because there has been a lot of interest in the vaccine and the state’s current progress.

Under Virginia’s three phase vaccination plan and prioritization guidance, only front-line healthcare workers who directly care for or interact with COVID patients were getting the vaccine during the initial weeks of phase one.

According to the vaccine dashboard, 227,425 total doses have been distributed throughout the Commonwealth and 49 new doses were administered on Sunday. Of the 40,000 plus doses already administered, most are occurring in localities that are home to large hospitals or have higher populations such as Richmond, Virginia Beach and Fairfax County.

More than 25,000 women have been vaccinated compared to almost 12,00 men – exemplifying the volume of women that work in the healthcare industry – and the age group with the most vaccinations so far is 30-39 followed by 40-49, according to the dashboard.

The VDH said the number of administered doses displayed on the dashboard will always lag behind the actual figure and that the data comes from the Virginia Immunization Information System, which is updated by providers across the state.

Because the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, of which a 140,000-dose order arrived last week, both require two shots three or four weeks apart, no healthcare worker in Virginia has been fully vaccinated at this time.

Residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Virginia – the other top priority group alongside healthcare personnel – will begin to receive the vaccines on site from CVS teams starting Monday thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program, according to CVS Health.

While the vaccines are certainly a positive step in the right direction, it will still take months for other priority groups and the general public to get vaccinated, and the VDH is asking Virginians to continue following health and safety protocols in the meantime.

In Virginia, there have been 336,175 COVID cases – 284,344 confirmed and 51,831 probable – as well as 4,861 deaths from the virus. Additionally, 17,605 hospitalizations have occurred, but a note says that figure under-represents the total number, according to the VDH COVID-19 daily dashboard.

Currently, 2,231 patients who are confirmed positive for COVID are hospitalized and that figure has been steadily rising since the end of September. As of Monday, 1,411 ICU beds are occupied out of the 3,071 total when counting surge beds, representing 46 percent occupancy, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association COVID dashboard.

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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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