RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - All Virginians age 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on April 18, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.
Northam said that nearly everyone in the highest-risk groups who has preregistered for a vaccination appointment has received one. He said those who are still on the preregistration list will receive appointment invitations within the next two weeks, allowing the state to move on to Phase 2, which covers everyone 16 and up.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is getting brighter every day day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” Northam said in a news release. He made the announcement during a visit to a vaccination clinic at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Prince William County.
More than 3.7 million vaccine does have been administered so far in Virginia. More than one in three adults have received at least one dose and one in five Virginians are fully vaccinated.
Beginning on Sunday, health districts that have invited everyone preregistered in Phase 1c may invite members of the general public who have preregistered. Based on the supply projected by the federal government, all local health districts will have enough vaccine to open appointments to the general public by April 18, Northam said. Those at highest risk will continue to receive priority.
“Expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to put this pandemic behind us, and I thank all of the public health staff, health care workers, vaccinators, and volunteers who have helped make this possible,” Northam said.
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