Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons

Governor Northam's Washington Post Interview - 2/4/2021

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam hopes that the statewide COVID-19 vaccine registration system will streamline the distribution process, making it easy and efficient to get vaccinated. Here are some excerpts from today's conversation with the Washington Post about Virginia's vaccination effort.

What caused the back-log in vaccine distribution in Virginia?
Virginia expanded vaccine eligibility on federal direction that the vaccine stockpile would be released, only to be informed two days later that there were not enough doses to support this expansion. This meant there were suddenly more appointments made to be vaccinated, than there were available doses.

When will all Virginians be vaccinated?
Governor Northam hopes that, with a 50,000 dose/day distribution plan, all Virginians who want to be vaccinated will be by early/mid-summer 2021.

How is Virginia ensuring equity in the distribution process?
Virginia has set up distribution centers in 36 CVS pharmacies in under-served areas with a focus on distributing the vaccine to those who need it most.

How has President Biden’s approach to COVID-19 differed from the previous administration?
Governor Northam praises “factual leadership” from the Biden administration, citing clear, non-politicized direction on the need for social distancing, face coverings, and vaccination.

What are some benchmarks that people can look for in the process of “getting back to normal”?
Follow positivity rates. Virginia’s current rate is around 10%, needs to be back to 5% or less before restrictions can start to be lifted. Meet a certain percentage of Virginians vaccinated in order to reach “herd immunity”.  Follow all data trends, such as death rates, hospitalization rates, and vaccine distribution.