RICHMOND, Va. -- Gov. Ralph Northam said Virginia plans to "immediately begin" distributing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine once it arrives in the Commonwealth over the "next 24 to 48 hours."
"We expect to receive our first allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the next 24 to 48 hours, and will immediately begin distribution to our health care workers and long-term care facilities," Northam posted on Twitter Saturday.
Northam said the state's health department has been readying for the roll out for months.
Together with @VDHgov, we have been preparing for this moment since the spring.— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) December 12, 2020
We expect to receive our first allotment of the @pfizer #COVID19 vaccine in the next 24 to 48 hours, and will immediately begin distribution to our health care workers and long-term care facilities. https://t.co/j16NbDp7cR
"Our department of health is experienced in vaccination and they have a plan in place for how to do this," Northam said in a news briefing Thursday.
"These vaccines are created by the world's best scientists, and getting ourselves vaccinated is the only way to end this pandemic. It will be the light of a very long and dark tunnel," Northam said. "My family and I fully intend to get vaccinated and I hope every Virginian will do the same."
The governor said that while the Virginia is faring better than most of the country with new cases, "the truth is, the virus is surging everywhere."
"New daily COVID-19 cases are higher now than at any point in the pandemic," Northam said. "Statewide test positivity is around 11 percent -- that’s almost doubled in just one month."
More than 4,170 new COVID-19 cases were reported out of the 53,900-plus tests processed since yesterday's health department update.
The trends in Virginia are better than most of the country, but the truth is, the virus is surging everywhere.— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) December 11, 2020
New daily #COVID19 cases are higher now than at any point in the pandemic.
Statewide test positivity is around 11 percent—that’s almost doubled in just one month. pic.twitter.com/sfWWvyK0eZ
COVID-19 vaccine to start arriving in states Monday
U.S. officials say the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in states Monday morning.
Army Gen. Gustave Perna said Saturday that trucks will roll out Sunday morning as shipping companies UPS and FedEx begin delivering Pfizer’s vaccine to nearly 150 distribution centers across the states.
An additional 450 sites will get the vaccine between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Perna is with Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program.
He says the vaccine was timed to arrive Monday morning so that health workers would be available to receive the shots and begin giving them.