Gov. Northam details vaccination process in Virginia

Posted at 10:33 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 16:42:34-05

Gov. Ralph Northam outlined the vaccination process in Virginia, but stressed it will take months for everyone who wants a vaccine to get one.

"It will take several months to get people vaccinated. For now and for some months to come, we all need to do the things we know work," he said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Virginia should begin receiving its first allotment of vaccines in next few weeks. Pfizer will provide about 70,000 doses, Northam said. Virginia will be following CDC guidance and prioritizing healthcare workers and people who live in long term facilities.

The vaccines will require two-doses, spaced out about three weeks apart. The availability of the vaccines is expected to ramp up into the spring and summer.

Northam stressed vaccines are safe and said he and his family would get theirs when they can.

News of developments in vaccinations come as Virginia continues to see a rising number of COVID cases, particularly in Southwestern Virginia.

Northam called out people who haven't been following the guidelines and said he's still monitoring the data to see if there will be a post-Thanksgiving spike. "It's just selfish. Rights are important, but we also need to emphasize responsibility," he said.

He did not implement new restrictions on Wednesday, but said all options remain on the table. Some new measures were put in place two weeks ago. Virginia is currently limited to 25 person gatherings and alcohol sales are prohibited after 10 p.m., in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries or tasting rooms.

Virginia has continued to report nearly 2,000 new daily COVID-19 cases and on Tuesday the state reported nearly 100 more hospitalizations in a day.

Northam said the spread of the virus is happening when people gather indoors, including at places of worship. "What all of these things have in common is people are getting together often indoors in places where they feel safe, where they let their guard down," he said.

He's calling on people to continue to social distance, wear masks, and wash their hands. "It's foolish to take risks. You need to be more careful than you think, especially with the holidays coming up. We can get there, but we all need to be smart and safe," he said.

Click here for our full coronavirus coverage.