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JUST IN: President Biden visits COVID-19 vaccine site at Virginia Theological Seminary

President Joe Biden visited the Neighborhood Health vaccine site at Virginia Theological Seminary today (Tuesday) just before he was scheduled to announce that states should open COVID-19 vaccination appointments to all adults by April 19.

“We passed 150 million (vaccine doses distributed) yesterday,” Biden said. “When you go home, get all your friends and tell them, ‘Get a shot when they can.’ We’re going to be able to do this, everyone’s going to be able to before the month is out.”

Neighborhood Health Executive Director Dr. Basim Khan toured Biden around the facility, and the president watched residents get inoculated.

“Mr President, the whole focus of our program is on equity,” Khan said. “We’re trying to increase equity by vaccinating our own patient population and primarily low-income, uninsured, under-insured, and a lot of people of color.”

Biden said that Neighborhood Health has done good work, and that within a month the U.S. will be in excess of 200 million vaccines distributed.

“We’re in a situation where, I believe, by the end of the summer we’ll have a significant portion of American public vaccinated,” he said. “Pretty soon when we have enough we can give it to the rest of the world… You can’t build a wall or fence high enough to keep out a virus.”

The president is scheduled to make the announcement at 3:45 p.m. at the White House.

In Alexandria, 41,200 first doses, or 31% of residents, have been partially given out. There have also been 25,878 full vaccinations, or about 19.4% of the city’s population. On Monday, the city moved into phase 1C, expanding  vaccine availability for a number of essential workers.

Virginia Theological Seminary was the first location in the city where a COVID-19 infection was detected — on March 11, 2020. The Alexandria City Public Schools system shut down two days later for the remainder of the school year, local businesses experienced dramatic closures and changes and lives were forever altered. To date, Alexandria has suffered 129 deaths and 11,100 cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

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