Virginia COVID cases rapidly rising amid unprecedented vaccine rollout

FOX 5 is learning more about what may be leading to what’s being described by many accounts as a slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.

The Virginia Department of Health acknowledged Monday night there’s still a long way to go and many health care leaders agree.

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In Virginia, vaccine doses arrived mid-December.  The state is about two and a half weeks into the process of administering them and state health leaders say this is just the beginning.

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis spoke with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association about the cause for the slow rollout.

"As you know this is an incredibly complex process. It’s a modern marvel that the vaccine has been developed in really the space of a year... This is an incredibly complex and logistical process with many moving pieces," said Julian Walker, Communications Vice President at Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Walker says the COVID-19 vaccine delays are due to shipment, delivery and storage among other factors.

Walker says the initial expectation was it would take at least 60-90 days to vaccinate front line workers across the state.

The Virginia Department of Health says as of Monday, nearly 90,000 people have been vaccinated with at least one dose in the last three weeks in the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Department of Health says more than 451,000 vaccines have been distributed statewide.  Even so, state health leaders acknowledge there is "still a long way to go."

Fox 5’s Tisha Lewis reports they’re implementing a complex plan that has many moving parts.

While it may be slow now, the commonwealth’s department of health says implementation is expected to get much quicker in the weeks ahead.

One of the larger hospital groups here, INOVA, says as part of its scheduling process, they confirm the eligibility of every healthcare worker at their appointment and they have not had any issues with ineligible people coming to receive their vaccine.
INOVA SAYS IT HAS vaccinated more than 15,000 healthcare workers in the region.