Virginia Sec. of Health says state should meet Biden's May 1 vaccine directive

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 12, 2021

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Dan Carey says Virginia is on track to meet President Joe Biden's directive of opening up vaccines to all adults by May 1.

"We should be ready to open it up by the first of May consistent with the directive from the President," Carey told reporters Friday during a visit to a clinic at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center.

Currently, Virginia is in Phase 1b, which will take until the second week of April or so. After that, Virginia will move into Phase 1c, which includes other essential workers not covered in Phase 1b.

Carey says 1c should only take one to three weeks, allowing Virginia to open it up to all adults by May.

"I think that's going to push us," he said. "All the states need to be pushed. I think we'll be ready here in Virginia."

To get there, Carey says Virginia will have to utilize all means of vaccinating people: health systems, pharmacies, private providers, health departments, and medium to large-scale clinics through a partnership with FEMA. A clinic is scheduled for Portsmouth next week.

"We will need to maximize all of those channels to make sure we're getting the doses out as quickly as we can," Carey said.

The Commonwealth will also need more vaccines, but that is expected to ramp up dramatically at the end of March.

Carey, himself a doctor, also vaccinated people during his visit, including Tyrone Franklin, Williamsburg's Redevelopment and Housing Authority Director.

"I've had numerous people in my family pass away from COVID," said Franklin. "I'm taking this shot for them."