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VDH continues COVID-19 booster plans, watches back-and-forth at federal level

Virginia’s vaccine coordinator hopes some clarity on Friday will give them a better idea of the...
Virginia’s vaccine coordinator hopes some clarity on Friday will give them a better idea of the plan going forward with booster shots.
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s vaccine coordinator hopes some clarity on Friday will give them a better idea of the plan going forward with booster shots. But, Dr. Danny Avula is anticipating a COVID-19 booster shot rollout sometime next week.

“I think we just have to wait until the FDA does its review and its reporting,” said Dr. Avula.

Currently, the state has several sets of plans depending on Friday’s decision from the FDA.

If boosters are needed eight months after your first vaccine round, the state can handle the estimated 250,000 with existing providers like pharmacies, doctors and small health department clinics.

If it’s six months, that would force the state to restart large vaccine clinics - like The Richmond Raceway - to inoculate about 1.3 million. Avula admits, it could be something else altogether.

“Will it be only for certain segments of the population, like our 65 and up, or will it be for everybody? Or will there not be enough evidence to make a strong recommendation,” said Dr. Avula.

If the green light comes, it will still take a few days to get things up and running. A CDC advisory group will weigh in, and the state health department will review data as well before pressing forward.

“We want to make sure that our pharmacies, our health departments, those who are vaccinated on the front lines, know what the FDA and CDC have said, know who’s eligible and who’s not,” said Dr. Avula.

Federal health officials last month authorized booster shots for such people including cancer and HIV patients or those who have had organ transplants.

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