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All Virginia adults to be eligible for vaccines by April 18

From Virginia Business:

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that all Virginians age 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting April 18, ahead of a May 1 national deadline set by President Joe Biden.

Northam made the announcement during a visit to a vaccination clinic at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Prince William County, noting that most residents in the highest risk groups who have pre-registered for a vaccine have received at least one dose. Also, much of the state has moved into phase 1c, the last group of prioritized Virginians in essential jobs in the fields of energy, higher education, finance, legal, housing and construction, and other sectors.

Once residents in this group who are registered for a vaccine have received shots or been contacted for appointments, the state moves into what it calls “phase 2,” allowing anyone age 16 or older to receive a vaccination. According to the governor’s office, health districts can individually open vaccination to the general public beginning Sunday, April 4, if they have contacted all local residents registered in group 1c to get their shots.

All adult residents of Virginia can now register to get vaccinated at vaccinate.virginia.gov or call (877) VAX-IN-VA, or (877) 829-4682.

So far, the state has administered 3.85 million vaccine doses, and 30.1% of the state’s population has received at least one dose. More than 1.3 million people, or 16.1% of the state’s population, is fully vaccinated, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel — and that light is getting brighter every day as more and more Virginians get vaccinated,” Northam said in a statement. “We continue to work with diverse providers and community partners across the commonwealth to distribute vaccines in a fair and equitable way and ensure those at the highest risk are vaccinated first. Expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to put this pandemic behind us, and I thank all of the public health staff, health care workers, vaccinators and volunteers who have helped make this possible.”
Also on Thursday, the state lifted some restrictions on private gatherings and attendance at entertainment venues, including allowing 30% capacity or a cap of 5,000 people at outdoor venues such as stadiums, and gatherings of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors at private events.

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