All of-age Virginians can get a COVID-19 vaccine starting next week.
The Virginia Dept. of Health is moving the entire Commonwealth into Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout plan, meaning all residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine– starting on Sunday, April 18. Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds; the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for adults 18 and over.
The VDH says the move is in line with Gov. Ralph Northam’s proclamation earlier this month, and it comes as Virginia hits a milestone in its vaccination efforts: about half of all adults in the Commonwealth have received at least one vaccine dose. The step also meets a nationwide goal set by Pres. Joe Biden that all adults be eligible to receive the vaccine by Monday, April 19.
As part of the move to Phase 2, you no longer need to pre-register for the vaccine, but appointments at most locations will still be required. To sign up for an appointment, visit the Vaccine Virginia website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).
“Over the past few months, we have made tremendous progress vaccinating Virginians as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible, and we need to keep up the good work,” said Gov. Northam. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many parts of Virginia and across the country, it is important that everyone has an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment. If you are over 16 and want to get the safe, effective, and free vaccine, please make a plan to get your shot. The more people who get vaccinated, the faster we can end this pandemic and get back to our normal lives.”
The vaccinate.virginia.gov site will link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s VaccineFinder website, which has a searchable map-based tool to find appointments at Community Vaccination Centers, local health departments, pharmacies, and hospitals.
VDH says they do expect demand for appointments to surge once Phase 2 is open, and warns you may still have to wait for an appointment. If you’re eligible under Phase 1 and can’t find an appointment, you’re encouraged to pre-register to get a priority appointment.
Gov. Northam’s Office says it expects all Virginians who want a vaccine should be able to get at least their first dose by the end of May.
To date, more than 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Virginia, and one-fifth of Virginians are fully vaccinated.
Saturday, the worldwide death toll topped more than 3 million since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.