RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Virginia is falling behind half of the other U.S. states and territories in administering coronavirus vaccines, raising questions about the commonwealth’s efforts to be on par with the country’s most successful vaccination operations.
Virginia ranks 30th among American states and territories administering vaccines among their populations, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC data indicates Virginia has administered just under 7,000 doses per 100,000 people, and only 51 percent of doses already distributed have actually been jabbed in the arms of Virginians.
When it comes to those fully inoculated with two doses, Virginia places 41st in the country, according to CDC data.
Last week the state’s new vaccination tsar Dr. Danny Avula said hundreds of thousands of doses in-hand are reserved for seniors in long term care facilities, and not all have administered them.
“Many of the skilled nursing facilities have either been already completed or will be completed by the end of January,” Avula said during a vaccination event at Richmond Raceway Thursday.
“Many of our long-term care facilities are actually experiencing active Covid outbreaks, which means we have got to put up those vaccination events by couple of weeks or until things settle down,” he said.
Avula also said some providers have held vaccines as a wanting means to ensure ample second doses would be administered. He also said the data they report isn’t succinct.
“There’s a data gap—either we need to do manual entry in those cases or ensure that the systems that the registration system says those patients were registered on and the vaccine was given to has an appropriate link to our state database which is where we pull out all the data,” Avula said.
Tuesday, President Joe Biden said he will increase weekly vaccinations across the U.S. to at least 10 million; up from 8.6 million.
“The vaccines are distributed to states based on population, based on population. And so, the smaller the state the less vaccine, the bigger state the more they get,” Mr. Biden said.
The president also said the U.S. is ordering 200 million more Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, in total, meaning 300 million Americans will be fully vaccinated by the end of summer to early fall seasons.
Governor Ralph Northam is slated to update reporters and the public Wednesday afternoon about Virginia’s pandemic response and vaccinations.