Northam encourages everyone able to get COVID-19 vaccination as all Virginians over 16 become eligible

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam alluded to more loosening restrictions across the commonwealth on Monday, as he encouraged all Virginians aged 16 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Northam toured a new vaccination site that opened in Tysons Corner. That facility will be able to administer 3,000 vaccine doses a day. He drove home the emphasis that anyone eligible to receive a shot, gets a shot.

“This vaccination process is our path toward saving lives and ending this pandemic,” he said.

According to Virginia Department of Health data, 5,345,314 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Virginia as of April 19. More than 3.4 million people have received at least one dose, with exactly 25% of Virginia’s population being fully vaccinated.

Northam said he was confident that by the end of May, every adult who wishes to get vaccinated will be able to get their first dose.

“However you’re able to get an appointment, please get vaccinated,” Northam said.

The governor also said with eligibility being open to everyone 16 and older, at least 3 million more Virginians are now eligible to get vaccinated. Northam also said people will need to remain patient in making appointments, as vaccine supply still remains relatively limited.

“While demand outstrips supply, our supply is much larger than it used to be,” he said.

Northam was joined by U.S. Senator Mark Warner, U.S. Representative Don Byer, Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, Virginia Latino Advisory Board member Cecilia Williams and Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula. Dr. Avula said a decision about the continued use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be made on Friday.

With regards to loosening of restrictions, Gov. Northam said more details will be revealed in the future, but he did say that cross country races will be allowed 68 runners at the starting line, up from the 50-runner limit currently, and performance events will increase to 100 people or 30% capacity indoors, and 500 people or 30% capacity outdoors.

Gov. Northam couldn’t give an exact time frame as to when the commonwealth will reach herd immunity, but we will reach that point as more folks get vaccinated and continue to wear masks and social distance.

“We’re on the right track,” he said. “We just need to keep being careful and vigilant.”

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