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Gov. Ralph Northam speaking at a news conference on Jan. 27, 2021. 

Gov. Ralph Northam says more regular deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines are coming from the federal government, and Virginia has now shifted how it allocates doses, meaning a 20 percent increase in "shots in arms" by the end of this week.

The White House, Northam said at a Wednesday news conference, has committed to sending new monthly shipments of the vaccines, rather than weekly, to state health districts based on population. Virginia health officials are also shifting current inventory so that hospitals and clinics aren't saving for second doses.

Northam says the biggest challenge is and will remain vaccine supply, noting the state has so far received 105,000 doses per week.

“Our progress is very much going to be supply dependent,” he said.

The governor's latest update comes as the area's largest hospital system, Inova, announced it was canceling first-dose vaccine appointments due to a supply shortage, and Northern Virginia leaders called on Northam to streamline the process.

School districts in Northern Virginia have begun vaccinating teachers and staff, but many school boards have been waiting for clarity on when a majority of staff will be vaccinated before bringing more students back into classrooms. 

Prince William County schools officials recently took matters into their own hands and privately set up clinics for teachers and staff after learning the division would need to wait for vaccines.

Northam said school districts should not base decisions on bringing students back on vaccines for teachers.

"Our emphasis at the state level is to ... really move toward getting children back in classrooms as soon as we can," he said.

Northam also announced he is extending current COVID-19 restrictions, including curfew and limits on gatherings, through the end of February.

"Vaccines are the light at the end of this long and dark tunnel," he said. "They are a great reason for hope and optimism, but I also want to acknowledge everyone is out of patience. It will take time reach everyone, and we are reaching more people every day."

See more headlines at InsideNoVa.com. Email tips to info@insidenova.com.

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(6) comments

John Dutko

I like how people keep brushing aside the fact that students are people. And people, no matter how big or small, are still vectors of transmission. And children spread sickness faster than rats during the plague.

Don't get me wrong, vaccinating the teachers and childcare workers as a priority is a step in the right direction. However, a dangerous level of complacency will set upon us as parents will relax safety standards under the assumption that we are out of the woods.

Lynne June

Becker’s Hospital Review

As of Jan. 27, Virginia 37th place

Virginia

Doses distributed to state: 1,172,375

Doses administered: 594,828

Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 50.74

Lynne June

Becker’s Hospital Review:

As of January 25, Virginia (50th place)

Doses distributed to state: 1,069,725

Doses administered: 451,668

Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 42.22

Henry Howell

The 50th place nonsense is flat-out wrong.

6.1% in first shot given in terms of distribution of the vaccine(26th place)

0.9% 2nd shot given percentage(27th place)

1,179,550 doses distributed (12th place)

629,019 doses administered

53% doses used

Lynne June

@Inside. OK. So the people who collected this data lied or used phony data.

Henry Howell

@Citizen52 Actually the data is out of date on the 26th the Virginia Department of Health updated vaccine statistics bumping up Virginia significantly. The reality was that there was some lag in reporting vaccine usage.

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