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Virginia Getting Fewer Initial COVID Vaccine Doses

man looks in box
Gov. Northam reviewing initial vaccine shipment. (Photo courtesy governor's office)

State officials say they now expect to get far fewer doses of the coronavirus vaccine this month than previously thought.

Virginia initially expected to get about 480,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. That would have covered first vaccinations for nearly all of the state's 500,000 healthcare workers and nursing home residents. But on Friday, health officials revised down their estimates by more than 100,000 doses after Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine program, notified them of the change. 

“The Virginia Department of Health was informed late yesterday by Operation Warp Speed that, like other states, Virginia’s estimated allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be less than initially planned for the next few weeks,” the department said in a press release. “Virginia is now planning to receive 370,650 doses of vaccine in December 2020 from two manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna.”

The announcement is expected to slow the initial rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, and cast doubt on the ability of President Donald Trump’s administration to meet its self-imposed goal of delivering 20 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the month.

Virginia’s announcement came after the state delivered an initial shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to 18 hospitals earlier this week. The shipments contained more than 72,000 doses meant for frontline healthcare workers. That allowed for Audrey Roberson, a critical care nurse at VCU, to become one of the first Richmonders to be vaccinated on Wednesday.

Many states are now revising expectations for their initial vaccine rollout. Officials in Washington State and Oregon now say their scheduled dose count will be halved, and Florida Governor Ron Desantis said new shipments of the coronavirus vaccine are now “on hold.”




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