‘We’re still making progress’: Despite lag in doses, 72% of vaccine in Richmond has been given to residents


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – As many wait for a vaccine to be available, Dr. Melissa Viray with the Richmond City Health District says COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high in Richmond.

Although she says the city doesn’t have as many vaccines as they should available, she says 72% of the vaccine in the Richmond area has made it into arms of residents.

Dr. Viray says around 6,700 Richmond residents have gotten the vaccine.

She says that number will continue to increase, despite not getting as many vaccines from the federal government as they’d expected they would.

It’s been a year since the first COVID-19 case was discovered in the United States.

Now, Mayor Levar Stoney says Richmond has reached a grim milestone.

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost 118 residents to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus,” Mayor Stoney said in a press briefing Wednesday.

But the light at the end of the tunnel, the vaccine, is here.

Dr. Viray says although the first three groups of Phase 1b, including those 65 and older, are preparing to get vaccinated, there aren’t as many doses available as they’d like.

“We are looking at less vaccine than we might otherwise would be able to give out,” she said.

But Dr. Viray says if you’re 65 and older, don’t hold back from registering for a vaccine.

“We are still making progress,” Dr. Viray said.

Those 65 and older who have registered may hear back from the health district soon and Dr. Viray hopes by the end of the month they’ll open the remaining categories in Phase 1b.

She reminds the public there’s still a lag in data entry of how many are getting vaccinated.

“We and VDH at the state level are looking at how to fix this so that we have more timely, up to date data,” she told reporters.

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras also gave an update in Wednesday’s press briefing, saying he’s excited about the school system’s proposal giving students a year-round schedule.

“It’s a bold play to respond to COVID-19 and the learning loss that we’ve seen,” Kamras said.

Dr. Viray also mentioned Bon Secours and VCU Health have vaccinated ambulatory patients in Phase 1b and they’re focusing on those 65 and older.

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