Virginia Needs to Expand Pool of Eligible Vaccine Distributors

Since vaccines have become available, Virginia has watched Governor Northam continuously stumble in effectively distributing doses. From the bottom third to out-right dead last, Virginia’s vaccine distribution efficiency has trailed much, if not all, of the country. Back on January 5th, Kirk Cox outlined the steps the Governor needed to take in order to get vaccines to Virginians quickly. Now, Cox joins a number of his Republican colleagues in the General Assembly in an effort to expand the pool of those eligible to administer vaccines. 

Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) has proposed legislation that would remove the licensing and legal barriers currently prohibiting and/or dissuading healthcare providers from stepping in and administering vaccines. 

If all of Virginia is to be vaccinated by summer, it’ll take an average of 50,000 shots administered a day to hit that target. The only way that will be possible is to allow healthcare providers, like pharmacies, to start administering life-saving vaccines.

Currently, Virginia only has enough workers to administer 35,000 shots a day. The Governor has a current goal of administering 25,000. It’s clear the Commonwealth needs all hands on deck to get this job done. 

While the Northam administration consistently fails Virginians on delivering vaccines, the Virginia Pharmacists Association is yelling, “put me in coach!” With 90% of the general public living within 5 miles of a local pharmacy, and with pharmacies having delivered over 6.2 million vaccines since 2017, it’s clear Virginia could use their help — along with the numerous other healthcare providers this bill would bring into the fold. 

Despite the Governor’s total failure in this vaccine rollout, this Republican-led effort could get the Commonwealth back on track. Kirk Cox remains committed to helping see this legislation through. Republicans have now given the Governor a chance to recover from his failed vaccine rollout. 

“To administer vaccines across the entire Commonwealth, it’s going to take a team effort, and we need all hands on deck. This Republican-led effort to expand the pool of eligible vaccine distributors is the only chance the Governor has to get Virginia’s abysmal vaccine rollout back on track.” — Kirk Cox for Governor Press Secretary Kristen Bennett