Virginians, ages 16 and older, received a Wireless Emergency Alert on Monday, April 19, 2021, about their eligibility to register for a COVID-19 vaccine under phase 2.
Those with cell phones with emergency alerts turned on received a notification around 10 a.m. EST.
The alerts came through the FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to participating wireless carriers.
Vaccine eligibility has now expanded to everyone 16 and older. During a press conference on Monday afternoon in Northern Virginia, Gov. Northam said it could still take time to get everyone an appointment.
"Not everyone can get a shot today or this week," said Northam. Local clinics at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk and the Virginia Beach Convention Center have been offering walk-up appointments, but there continues to be a waiting list in parts of Northern Virginia.
"The Commonwealth has now entered an exciting new phase of our COVID-19 vaccination program. Everyone 16 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated," said Northam.
So far, nearly 40-percent of Virginians have gotten at least one shot with about a quarter of the population now fully vaccinated.
"The risk of getting seriously ill if you get COVID are too high," said Northam. "We need to stop the circulation of this virus and stop its mutating. That's what the vaccines will do."
Northam announced some minor changes to high school activity restrictions, but did not make any other major changes. "I continue to monitor the data and we'll have further updates in the coming days," he said.