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Single-Dose Vaccine Accelerates Timetable

Person getting a shot
A person getting their COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination event in January. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

The new Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is heading to Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health says the state is expected to get 69,000 doses this week.

Dr. Danny Avula, who’s coordinating the state’s vaccine rollout, said Wednesday Central Virginia can expect about 14,000 of those doses divided between the Richmond-Henrico, Crater, Chickahominy and Chesterfield Health Districts.

While the state remains in Phase 1b, Avula says the addition of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is changing the timeline for everyone getting their shots.

“It is very realistic to say that everyone in 1b who wants to get vaccinated will be able to do that by the end of April,” he said. “And everybody who, across the board, who wants to get vaccinated will at least be able to get their first dose by the end of May.”

Avula added the new, one-dose shot will be administered at mass vaccination sites which require pre-registration. In addition, the state is expecting to receive more doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.