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Northams Receive Coronavirus Vaccine

Man seated after receiving a shot
Gov. Ralph Northam give a thumbs-up after receiving his COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: Steve Helber/AP)

Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Monday, just over one year after COVID-19 was first recorded in the Commonwealth.

“The good news is that there’s finally some light at the end of this long, dark tunnel,” said Governor Northam.

He pointed to decreasing test positivity rates in Virginia and increasing vaccine availability as signs the pandemic is subsiding. The governor stressed the safety and efficacy of all three available vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

A Virginia National Guard team administered the shots. The state military branch has five teams able to travel the state and vaccinate about 250 people each per day.

Gen. Timothy Williams, Virginia Adjutant General, thanked service members for their work in testing and community support during the pandemic.

“It’s a very small effort within the greater Department of Health and Department of Emergency Management efforts, and we are just tremendously honored to be that support,” he said.

Governor Northam says it’s another tool to get shots in arms as more doses come into the state.

Despite his optimism, he stressed the continued importance of good pandemic etiquette, like wearing masks and social distancing. Virginia continues to log an average of over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day. 

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.