In a press conference today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced residents over 65, and residents under 65 with comorbidities are being moved from phase 1c up to phase 1b of the state’s vaccination rollout. Parts of Virginia have already entered the 1b phase, including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties.
“This means about half of Virginia is now eligible to receive the vaccine,” Northam said. “That’s a major logistical effort, and it’s not going to happen overnight.”
Virginia health officials say the state needs to be vaccinating 50,000 people a day to effectively create herd immunity. On Tuesday, roughly 17,000 people were vaccinated in Virginia. Northam said he expects any Virginian who wants a vaccine to have had the opportunity to get one by early summer.
Ramping up the vaccination rate will require a better federal partnership, Northam said, which he expects to see with the Biden administration. There are also currently plans to set up fixed vaccination centers that will be staffed by the National Guard and contracted vaccinators.