RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Local health districts in the Richmond area (Chesterfield, Chickahominy, Henrico, and Richmond) will move into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday, January 18, according to Dr. Danny Avula, the head of Virginia’s COVID-19 distribution program.
The news came late Tuesday evening as health departments urgently move to increase vaccination output across the state.
Previously, health officials said Richmond and Henrico Health Districts would not enter phase 1b until February. Last week, though, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam urged health departments to move quickly and set a daily goal to increase vaccinations from 10,000 people to 25,000 people.
‘Phase 1b’ will prioritize essential frontline workers and people over the age of 75, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Police officers, firefighters, K-12 teachers, correctional officers, and grocery store workers are among the top of the priority list. However, VDH said overlap of vaccination of groups is expected to ensure people in Phase 1b are vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Across the country, federal officials are also working to increase vaccine output after a slower than expected start. Officials with Operation Warp Speed are recommending all people over 65 and with underlying conditions be granted access to the vaccine.
It’s unclear as of early Wednesday morning if Virginia will follow this recommendation.
To find out what vaccination phase you are in, you can take a quiz of VDH’s website.