On April 7, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that more than seven million Virginians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) launched the statewide vaccination campaign to end December 2020. VDH has reached this immunization milestone as we celebrate National Public Health Week.
This figure of 7,000,752 represents 81.5% of Virginia’s total population of 8,590,563 and 92.4% of the adult population of 6,724,143 Virginians ages 18 and older. Of these, 2,938,260 Virginians have received their recommended booster or third dose of vaccine.
“More than seven million Virginians have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, an incredible milestone on our path to normality and demonstrates that Virginia is once again leading the fight against COVID-19. I will continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, as it is the best method to prevent serious illness from the virus,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said. “While I have been a strong advocate for getting the vaccine and boosters, I will not make it mandatory. I am pleased that over 80% of Virginians have made the individual decision to get vaccinated.”
“As we celebrate Public Health Week in Virginia, it is important to not only recognize the commitment of our public health workers, but also to recognize that public health must be a community-wide priority. . COVID-19 has made that very clear and the current achievement of the vaccine is the result of collaboration between public health and other health workers, community groups, pastors and many others. As we look forward to tackling further health and wellness challenges, these partnerships will drive success. said Health and Human Resources Secretary John Littel.
“This represents yet another victory in our fight against COVID-19. By enabling widespread protection against hospitalization and death from the virus, this achievement paves the way for our daily lives to continue to return to normal. We could not have reached this milestone without the combined efforts of VDH employees, healthcare workers and a host of community volunteers who continue to make the COVID-19 vaccination readily available,” said the Commissioner. to Health Acting Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “As we recognize this week as National Public Health Week, our immunization efforts exemplify the power of public health and community partnerships to make a difference and save lives.”
“Reaching the point of having seven million Virginians who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is a tremendous achievement,” said state immunization coordinator Christy Gray, MPH, who is also director of the immunization division at the VDH office. Epidemiology. “We couldn’t have done this without the hard work of over 3,500 VDH employees and our partners across the state: pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities and many community partners. helping to take the vaccination message to the public.Our vaccination campaign is a community-wide triumph against this virus.
On December 15, 2020, Yolanda Dumas, an employee of Sentara Healthcare in Hampton Roads, became the first Virginian to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave their approval. emergency use authorization (EUA) administration of the mRNA vaccine. At the start of the vaccination campaign, frontline health workers and people living in long-term care facilities were given priority for vaccination.
In phased rollouts, additional groups of people became eligible for vaccination in early 2021: people aged 65 and over; people aged 16 to 64 with certain underlying conditions; front-line essential workers such as police, fire and emergency medical personnel, teachers, and grocery and manufacturing workers; and other workers in sectors essential to the functioning of society.
VDH used a number of different strategies to reach people in its vaccination campaign, including:
- Vaccinate Virginia: A statewide call center (877-VAX-IN-VA) and website (Vaccinate.Virginia.gov) have been created to allow Virginians to register for the notification of vaccination appointments. Public awareness campaigns were carried out across all media platforms, including print, broadcast and digital.
- Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs): The state has established large-scale vaccination centers throughout Virginia that have administered hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses.
- Community partnerships: Local Commonwealth Health Districts have developed partnerships with organizations in all of their coverage areas to immunize hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations through mobile clinics, church and community immunization events. community centers and, in some cases, taking the vaccination directly. to people confined to their homes.
Pharmacies, both those participating in the federal retail pharmacy program and in partnership with local health districts, have delivered more than seven million vaccine doses to Virginians, of the more than 15 million total vaccine doses. COVID-19 administered so far in Virginia. Local health departments administered more than 2.6 million doses, followed by medical practices (1.9 million), other community health providers (1.7 million) and hospitals (1.35 million).
VDH’s vaccination campaign continues today with hyper-targeted outreach to unvaccinated Virginians in rural areas of the state, people hesitant to get vaccinated, and people who need reminders to be up to date with their vaccinations.
To find a free vaccine or booster near you, visit Vaccinate.Virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Support is available in English, Spanish and over 100 other languages.