All Virginians age 16 and older should be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 18, Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday.
Any high-risk Virginians still on the state’s waiting list should receive an invitation for a vaccine appointment over the next two weeks, a Thursday news release from the governor’s office states.
As the commonwealth passed a 30% vaccination rate for people with at least one dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna or single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the release states that nearly every Virginian in the highest risk groups pre-registered for a vaccination appointment has received one.
“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,” Northam announced during a visit to a vaccination clinic at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Prince William County.
“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," he said.
"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.”
Beginning Sunday, any Virginia health districts that have invited everyone pre-registered in Phase 1c may start inviting members of the general public who have pre-registered, according to the Governor’s Office.
“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,” the release states. “Those at highest risk will continue to receive priority in the scheduling process.”
The Virginia Department of Health says 2,565,265 Virginians (30.1%) have received at least one dose of the vaccine, an increase of 49,978 from Wednesday. It has counted 1,375,802 people (16.1%) fully vaccinated, an increase of 29,238.
Locally, the Lord Fairfax Health District reports that 59,251 people (or 24.7%), have received at least one vaccine dose, an increase of 443 and that 41,068 (or 17.1%) are fully vaccinated, an increase of 191.
Winchester has reported 11,916 total doses, up 53, including 4,888 people fully vaccinated, an increase of 11.
Frederick reports 34,940 doses administered, up 264, and 14,914 people fully vaccinated, up 84.
Clarke reports 6,931 doses, up 54, and 3,044 fully vaccinated, up 10.
Shenandoah reports 19,693 doses, up 127, and 8,439 fully vaccinated, up 50.
Page reports 9,280 doses, up 58, and 4,081 fully vaccinated, up 15.
Warren reports 12,993 doses, up 75, and 5,702 fully vaccinated, up 21.
Virginia on Thursday added 1,825 new COVID-19 cases.
The Lord Fairfax district added 50 new cases on Thursday, 24 in Frederick County, 11 in Warren County, seven in Winchester, six in Shenandoah County and three in Clarke County.
Page County subtracted one case. Frederick added one death.
Elsewhere in the region, Harrisonburg added 22 new cases. Rockingham County added 11.
Harrisonburg now has 6,188 cases, 177 hospitalizations and 95 deaths. Rockingham has 6,358 cases, 357 hospitalizations and 103 deaths.
Anyone who lives or works in Virginia can pre-register for the vaccine to be notified when they are eligible and an appointment is available.
To pre-register, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).