RICHMOND, Va. -- Pharmacies in Virginia that are administering the coronavirus vaccine through a partnership with the federal government will begin offering doses to more people in the state.
The Virginia Department of Health said Wednesday that participating pharmacies will expand eligibility to people who are between the ages of 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions.
Eligibility will also expand to more frontline essential workers. They include people working in public safety, agriculture and manufacturing. Other eligible fields include mail carriers, grocery store workers and government workers such as judges.
More than 300 pharmacies in Virginia are taking part in the federal pharmacy program. People can visit VaccineFinder.org to find eligible pharmacy locations.
The expansion follows Virginia's recent announcement that some communities can expand into Phase 1c of vaccine distribution. That phase includes people who work in fields that include energy, wastewater, construction and food service. Other groups include those who work in higher education, transportation and legal services.
The groups in Phase 1c are considered “essential” to the functioning of society or are at higher risk of exposure.
The state said that some areas will begin the transition this week, including the Eastern Shore and the Danville-Pittsylvania County area. Other areas should be able to expand within weeks.
Before expanding, VDH said, a local health department must have made strong efforts to reach all those eligible in Phase 1a and 1b, particularly communities that have been disproportionately affected. Those include communities of color.