WWBT: Virginia waiting on federal plan for COVID-19 vaccine support

WWBT, HENRY GRAFF

The Virginia Health Department is reporting a major milestone with more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are distributed, but less than half of those doses are in arms.

The state still contends there’s a data input issue and the actual vaccination numbers are better. As we round out another week, Governor Ralph Northam’s office says the commonwealth needs more vaccine supply.

At the federal level, Representative Abigail Spanberger says Washington is working to increase the number of doses.

“Starting essentially from zero at a point in time where our national priority has to be broad-scale deployment of vaccines because it is how we are going to protect people’s lives,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, 7th District.

Spanberger says the new Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act to bolster vaccine supply will help. However, Spanberger warns it’s not just about doses because those administering vaccines need other equipment like syringes and personal protective equipment.

“To ensure that we have not just the vaccinations and the vaccines ready, but everything else that’s appropriate and needed,” said Rep. Spanberger.

Virginia Republicans continue to harshly criticize the slow rollout here in the commonwealth. State Delegate Chris Head and others have taken to the floor of the General Assembly to sound off.

“Assigning this task to our health districts without any sort of roadmap or planning was a recipe for failure,” said State Del. Chris Head, (R) 17th District.

Head says the governor gave local health districts an insurmountable task.

“He placed a massive operation – the vaccination of more than 8 million people – into the hands of small, local health districts who have nowhere near the capacity they need to handle an operation like this,” said Del. Head.

Local health departments have given out almost 105,000 shots. Hospitals have dolled out more than 208,000 vaccines.

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