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Virginia expands COVID vaccination workforce

(KFYR-TV)
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 3:58 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/Governor’s Office Release) - The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced efforts aimed at increasing Virginia’s vaccinator workforce to support the continued expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations across the state, including a new initiative to recruit people interested in administering vaccines.

Governor Northam recently signed House Bill 2333 and Senate Bill 1445, which expand the pool of health care providers eligible to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia. Last month, the Governor issued Third Amended Executive Order Fifty-Seven to provide additional flexibility to health care providers in supporting the Commonwealth’s vaccination program and COVID-19 response. Earlier this week, Northam announced that starting April 18, all adults in Virginia will be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines.

“Last year, we issued a call for 30,000 medical and non-medical volunteers to join our fight against COVID-19, and I am proud that over 35,000 Virginians have since stepped forward to assist through the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps,” said Governor Northam. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our health care providers and volunteer vaccinators, Virginia is administering an average of nearly 67,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each day and has given over 3.8 million shots to date. By further expanding our vaccinator workforce, we can build on this momentum and ensure we have additional vaccination capacity as supply increases and more individuals become eligible to receive the vaccine.”

Health care providers who are now authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia include, but are not limited to, dentists, dental hygienists, veterinarians, optometrists, and health profession students enrolled in an accredited Virginia program. Eligible providers may serve as vaccinators if they have the appropriate training and meet the supervision requirements. All COVID-19 vaccine providers are responsible for ensuring people who administer shots at their sites are authorized by law to do so.

Eligible health care providers may register to volunteer as a COVID-19 vaccinators through the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps or the newly-established Virginia Volunteer Vaccinator Registry (VVVR).

“These efforts to increase the ranks of vaccinators will immediately affect Virginians and their ability to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “We need ‘all hands on deck’ as we ramp up our vaccination campaign, and the legislation introduced by Delegate Bagby and Senator Dunnavant is crucial to providing additional tools for these unprecedented times.”

For more information or to sign up as an MRC or VVVR volunteer, please visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-community-vaccinator.

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