RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It has become clear Operation Warp Speed will fall far short of the federal government’s goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of December.
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control reports only 2.1 million people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. So what does that mean for Virginians and when they might get vaccinated?
As of late Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health reported 47,000 people have been vaccinated in the Commonwealth. Doctor Laurie Forlano Deputy Commissioner for Population Health calls it progress for what’s happened in about two weeks.
“I do think that is something to be celebrated. Certainly, lots of room to go there,” Dr. Forlano said.
Just this week, vaccinations began in Virginia’s long-term care facilities following the roll out with vaccinating health care workers.
8News has confirmed 5,000 VCU Health workers alone have gotten their first dose. We’re told Another 2,200 team members are scheduled to receive their vaccines by early January 2021. Still, the plans may be a little slower than VDH first hoped. More than 285,000 of doses have been distributed in Virginia.
“Will we administer the remainder of those vaccines by the end of the week? That’s probably unlikely,” told 8News.
The Deputy Commissioner admitted there’s been some hiccups, as in other states, delaying vaccinations. There’s been I-T issues and new systems to manage which she said is creating a lag time between when someone gets a vaccination and when it’s entered into the Department of Health’s System.
“I think the way I would describe it is, the typical hiccups you would expect at the beginning of an operation of this scale,” Dr. Forlano said.
What the delays may mean for when the general public is eligible for the vaccine is unclear.
“I would say we are several weeks out from getting through long-term care facilities,” Dr. Forlano said.
She did say that Virginia is actively working on its plans for the next phase of vaccinations. 8News hopes to learn more when VDH holds a press briefing on its vaccination response on Wednesday.