Virginia Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility to All Adults

April 16, 2021 by TWN Staff
Granby kindergarten school teacher Christina Kibby receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by pharmacist Madeline Acquilano. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

RICHMOND — The Commonwealth of Virginia is expanding eligibility to get a COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 16 or older, beginning Sunday.

The expansion of eligibility comes as Virginia reaches a new milestone in its vaccination program— approximately half of all adults in the Commonwealth have received at least one dose.

“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,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a video message released Friday.

“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,” he said. “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.”

With the move into Phase 2, appointments will still be required for most vaccinations.

Starting Sunday, Virginians will be able to find and schedule appointments directly through the Vaccinate Virginia vaccine system by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1).

The vaccinate.virginia.gov site will link to the Centers 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.

Virginians seeking an opportunity to get vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment, as demand for vaccination is expected to continue to outpace supply in many parts of the Commonwealth.

Those who were eligible under Phase 1 who cannot find an appointment should pre-register for a priority appointment at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA.

The governor’s office anticipates that all Virginians who want a vaccine will be able to get at least their first dose by the end of May.

Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for individuals aged 16 and 17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for ages 18 and up, however the J&J vaccine is currently on hold.

More than 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Virginia. Approximately half of the adult population has received at least one dose, and 20% are fully vaccinated.

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