Culpeper Star-Exponent: Va. vaccine czar to talk COVID-19 in Thursday town hall

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

Dr. Danny Avula, coordinator of Virginia’s vaccine distribution, will answer Central Virginia residents’ COVID-19 questions Thursday evening during a telephone town hall with U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

For an hour starting at 7:05 p.m., Avula will discuss vaccination efforts and how more vaccine doses will help reopen more businesses and schools across the commonwealth, Spanberger’s office said Wednesday. In addition to his state duties, the physician is director of the Richmond and Henrico County health districts.

Spanberger, who represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, thanked Avula for agreeing to take part. “I know many in our district will appreciate hearing his perspective on the around-the-clock efforts to boost vaccinations across the commonwealth,” she said in a statement.

In addition, the congresswoman will update participants on the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes billions of dollars for vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and behavioral and mental health services. The package will extend unemployment insurance, expand child tax credits and provide direct payments to Central Virginians, her office said. The House of Representatives passed the legislation Wednesday.

“As Congress moves forward to … deliver much-needed relief to the American people, I’m committed to maintaining an open channel of communication with Central Virginians about how this package will support their families, their businesses, and their communities,” Spanberger said. “… I look forward to hearing directly from those I serve about how they think Congress should address pandemic-related issues in the coming weeks and months.”

To take part in the town hall, dial 855-920-0555. To watch the conversation live, Central Virginians can visit spanberger.house.gov/live or Spanberger’s Facebook page during the one-hour event.

Thursday’s conversation will be Spanberger’s 12th free, public telephone town hall since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The events have focused on the ways the viral pandemic has affected Central Virginia families, small businesses, students and seniors.

To pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine, Virginians can sign up via the Virginia Department of Health’s centralized system at vaccinate.virginia.gov, the congresswoman’s office noted. They also can pre-register via phone by calling (877) VAX-IN-VA—or (877) 829-4682—from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, seven days a week.

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