See below for video of yesterday’s “Virginia Vaccine Town Hall – Focus Arlington” with: 1) Dr. Danny Avula, vaccine coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health (aka, “Virginia’s vaccine czar”); 2) Arlington Public Health Director Dr. Reuben Varghese; 3) Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria/Arlington); 4) Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington); 5) Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Arlington/Fairfax); 6) Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington/Fairfax). For a partial transcript of the comments by Dr. Avula, see below the video.
Dr. Avula: “As of today, Virginia has received a total of just over a million doses of vaccine…as of this morning we have a 443,760 doses administered. That number has been jumping up by about 20,000-25,000 doses per day. And I think most of Virginia wondering why is there such a big gap, why are there almost 600,000 doses that are unaccounted for, has been a source of great confusion and frustration, and I think it is important for us to understand where that vaccine currently is – is it sitting on a shelf somewhere waiting to to be put into somebody and just not being administered well or what? The reality is that it’s a far cry from that…there are at least about a hundred thousand doses that actually have been administered and have just not been entered into our state database, so there’s always going to be a little bit of a lag between when doses get administered and when they show…So that’s some of the work that we’ve got to do to better communicate what is the status of current vaccine in Virginia.
Now the challenge we’re facing this week next week and the weeks moving forward is that we only have a hundred and five thousand doses per week for the entire state…We’ve got to be a lot clearer about from the state level about how we work through 1b so that our people don’t have mismanaged expectations…
The Biden administration has come in, they have pledged a hundred million doses in the first hundred days. And I think there’s two primary pathways that that happens. First is by increasing production of Pfizer and Moderna, building the footprint, increasing the amount of doses that they’re able to churn out every week. I don’t know what the clear plan is…but that’s the first way. The second way is really with the introduction of new vaccines into the market. So both AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are in the the final stages of their clinical trials…So I think hopes are high that they will be able to complete their clinical trials, get their FDA authorization and really bring…millions of doses around the country to bear relatively soon. And…I think end of March/early April is probably the timeline we’re looking at …for AstraZeneca…Johnson & Johnson to get through clinical trials, FDA authorization and distribution…”