Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday welcomed one of the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a Bon Secours hospital in Richmond. This initial allotment of 72,150 doses was expected to be administered to frontline health care workers as early as Thursday.
“These initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are a much-needed symbol of hope for our Commonwealth and our country,” said Northam. “With this remarkable medical achievement, we are beginning to see the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Yet even in this moment of celebration, we must remember that this is the first step in a months-long process to receive, distribute, and administer the vaccine as it becomes available. I ask everyone to stay vigilant, take care of each other, and continue following the public health guidelines as we work to vaccinate Virginians in a safe, efficient, equitable manner.”
Initial shipments are being delivered to health systems across the Commonwealth this week, as expected, with vaccinations for health care workers beginning tomorrow. Health care workers that directly care for COVID-19 patients will receive top priority among providers in Virginia.
Virginia health systems expect to receive an estimated 480,000 doses of vaccine from two manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, by the end of December. This initial allocation will begin the inoculation process for nearly all health care personnel and long-term care facility residents. The Virginia Department of Health estimates that there are up to 500,000 individuals in these two top priority groups in the Commonwealth.