Links on COVID-19:
Or by mail and phone:
301 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
Lots of folks are reaching out to me and asking very good questions about Virginia's vaccination plan:
- When will we know when we can get vaccinated?
- How will we get vaccinated once it is our turn?
- What's being done to expedite the process of getting Virginia vaccinates?
I have been in frequent communication with the Governor's team and the Virginia Department of Health to get answers to these and other important questions and to share my concerns about the execution of Virginia's vaccination plans. Proper execution is critical, and I've been skeptical thus far of the response. Obviously this is a life and death situation for thousands of Virginians.
My priority is that our vaccination response plan is done in the most efficient and effective way possible.
If you have questions about vaccination and want to know the latest about what's being done in Virginia, I strongly encourage you to watch:
Governor Northam Public Update on COVID-19 and Vaccinations
TOMORROW: Wednesday, January 6, 2pm
This event will be livestreamed on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended vaccinating Americans in phases:
Phase 1a is for health care providers and long-term care facility staff and residents – more than 500,000 Virginians.
Phase 1b is for people 75 years or older and frontline essential workers (non–health care workers).
Phase 1c is for people aged 65–74 years, people aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential (but not frontline) workers.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is following this guidance. Folks in Phase 1a are being vaccinated now, and tomorrow, I expect the Governor will be sharing information about priority groups 1b and 1c.
Local health districts are developing plans to ensure opportunities for non-hospital healthcare personnel to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Together with healthcare systems, they are making plans to hold vaccination clinics for providers in their area. We expect opportunities for vaccination to continue to increase as they get the clinics set up.
Here is some other information that the Governor's team shared with me. I've copied and pasted the bullet points below, because I want you to know everything I know about the vaccine rollout.
- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Virginia, implementing a successful vaccination program is critical to flattening the curve and stopping the spread of this virus.
- Virginia expects COVID-19 vaccines to be allocated to the Commonwealth by the federal government on a weekly basis.
- Currently, two manufacturers have received FDA Emergency Use Authorization and are providing COVID-19 vaccines in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
- The amount of vaccine and the timing of when we will receive it will depend on the capabilities of the manufacturers to produce the vaccine safely.
- The Virginia Department of Health has a dashboard on its website to keep people apprised of the number of vaccine doses distributed in Virginia and the number of doses administered. It is updated daily.
- The dashboard data on administered vaccines comes from the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS). Providers across the Commonwealth, who administer the vaccine to individuals, enter that information into VIIS. VIIS is a confidential, secure, computerized database that contains vaccine information provided by participating providers to individuals of all ages.
- VDH is implementing a complex plan that has many moving parts. Implementation is expected to go much more quickly in the weeks ahead.
- The number of doses of vaccine administered shown on the vaccine dashboard will always lag behind the actual number of doses administered. Providers must record vaccinations into the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS), and there is a delay between the recording and availability of this information. That means many more people in Virginia have been vaccinated than has been reported.
I will share more information after the Governor's public update tomorrow, but again, I hope you'll tune in yourself. Let's continue to protect each other.
I thank you again for the honor and privilege of serving you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Serving Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax in Virginia's 45th District