Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday he expects the state will receive about 70,000 of the first round of coronavirus vaccine doses manufactured by Pfizer as early as mid-December if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency approval.
The second vaccine doses should be administered about three weeks apart “in time for those 70,000 people to receive them,” Mr. Northam said at a coronavirus press briefing in Richmond.
Health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first people in the state to receive a vaccine, he said.
The Democratic governor said the only way back to normalcy is if everyone receives a coronavirus vaccine.
“We’re setting our priority groups because we expect that most people will want to get vaccinated, and there will be a lot of demand — that is how we eradicate this virus and how we get back to normal, and that is if everyone gets vaccinated,” Mr. Northam said.
State health officials reported 1,860 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, the highest number since the pandemic began. Moreover, 2,417 new cases bring the total to 242,480, and 20 additional deaths, bringing the total to 4,113. The seven-day average daily case positivity rate is 8.3%, which exceeds the 5% benchmark set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.