PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY— Early this month Governor Ralph Northam announced that all individuals in Virginia age 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Sunday, April 18, ahead of the May 1 nationwide goal set by President Joe Biden. Governor Northam made the announcement during a visit to a vaccination clinic at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Prince William County, shortly before a vaccine clinic at that location.
According to a statement from the Governor’s office most high-risk individuals for have pre-registered for a vaccination appointment have received one, and those still on the pre-registration list are expected to receive appointment invitations within the next two weeks.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel—and that light is getting brighter every day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” said Governor Northam in a recent statement. “We continue to work with diverse providers and community partners across the Commonwealth to distribute vaccines in a fair and equitable way and ensure those at the highest risk are vaccinated first. Expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to put this pandemic behind us, and I thank all of the public health staff, health care workers, vaccinators, and volunteers who have helped make this possible.”
More than one in three adults in Virginia have received at least one dose, and one in five Virginians are fully vaccinated. Virginia is administering vaccine doses as quickly as they are provided by the federal government.
Efforts by Virginia to focus on equity throughout its vaccine rollout include providing targeted resources in multiple languages, scheduling clinics in collaboration with community partners, performing grassroots outreach to drive pre-registration and scheduling, and implementing large, state-run Community Vaccination Centers in areas with vulnerable populations. These efforts will continue when eligibility opens to the general public in Phase 2.
21 of Virginia’s 35 local health districts have already started vaccinating essential workers in Phase 1c after providing appointments to everyone eligible in Phases 1a or 1b on the pre-registration list. Beginning April 4, districts that have invited everyone pre-registered in Phase 1c may invite members of the general public who have pre-registered. Based on the supply projected by the federal government, all local health districts will have enough vaccine to open appointments to the general public by April 18. Those at highest risk will continue to receive priority in the scheduling process.
Everyone who lives or works in Virginia should pre-register so they can be notified when they are eligible for vaccination and an appointment is available. Those wishing to pre-register can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. Videoconferencing in American Sign Language is also available at vaccinate.virginia.gov.