FAIRFAX, Va. — Inova Hospital announced Monday that they will be canceling some COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Tuesday due to a national shortage that has impacted its current supply of vaccines, according to a statement released by the hospital system.
The Virginia Department of Health will now be distributing COVID-19 vaccines to health districts in response to a national shortage of the vaccine, the hospital stated. This unprecedented decision has caused the hospital system's supply to run low and has forced them to make the difficult decision of prioritizing their available doses.
"We understand and share the frustration that this news brings to our patients. When we receive more supply inventory, we will first prioritize patients who had an appointment scheduled and then focus on opening further appointments up to eligible groups. If you are a patient whose appointment is canceled, rest assured we are working diligently to identify new supply and will reach out to reschedule your appointment as soon as we are confident we have a vaccine for you, " Inova said in a statement.
The State of Virginia has ranked last in the nation for the percentage of the shots it has received that have been administered. According to the CDC, the commonwealth had administered 42% of the doses it had received as of Sunday (Virginia’s own data portal puts that number around 47%).
Virginia is also one of only 17 states that were publicly reporting COVID-19 vaccination data by race and ethnicity as of last week. But the state’s COVID-19 website indicates that race and ethnicity data has not been reported for more than half of the roughly 475,000 people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Virginia public health officials have said they will distribute the vaccine equitably, but researchers say that goal will be difficult to achieve without accounting for demographic data.
Inova has already administered more than 70,000 vaccines. As soon as more supply becomes available, they said they will continue to give out vaccines as originally planned.
For more information on Virginia’s vaccine distribution program, click here.