All Virginians are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting April 18

Virginia

Are some COVID-19 vaccines more effective than others? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — All Virginians who want to be vaccinated will have the chance to schedule appointments starting Sunday, April 18.

Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that all state residents over the age of 16 would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a press release, the state is expanding the eligibility because approximately half of all adults in the Commonwealth have received at least one dose.

“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. 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,” Gov. Northam said.

Gov. Northam is encouraging residents to register for the COVID-19 vaccine by calling the statewide call center at 877-VAX-IN-VA or by using the new Vaccinate Virginia website to find vaccine providers starting Sunday.

Demand for the vaccine is expected to outpace supply so, Virginians may have to wait for an appointment. At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for people aged 16 and 17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for ages 18 and up.

The state has paused use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine following reports of rare blood clots. Health officials said this pause could last days to weeks.

The Northam Administration predicts that all residents who want the vaccine will be able to get their first dose by the end of May or sooner.

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