Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver told a local Virginia affiliate Friday that he will mandate the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available.  

Virginia’s health commissioner suggested Friday that he will mandate a coronavirus vaccine whenever it becomes widely available, according to a Virginia ABC affiliate. Oliver told 8News that he plans to mandate such vaccinations, which health officials expect to be available by 2021.

“It is killing people now, we don’t have a treatment for it and if we develop a vaccine that can prevent it from spreading in the community we will save hundreds and hundreds of lives,” Oliver said of the virus.

State law gives Oliver the authority to mandate immunizations during a public health crisis and only allows people with medical exemptions to refuse the mandate, 8News reported. Oliver said he does not support a proposed Virginia General Assembly bill that would allow people with religious opposition to opt-out of the requirement.

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He said he has not planned a specific punishment for people who do not comply with the mandate, though Oliver believes “most people will voluntarily comply,” according to 8 News. Yeah right!

The state is already using technology from Google and Apple to track citizens who have been exposed to the virus.

Virginia rolled out the Covidwise app on Aug. 5, which asks users to enter a six-digit pin number unique to their coronavirus test lab results. The app will notify other uses of potential exposure once the pin number is submitted, according to Jeff Stover, Executive Program Advisor to the Commissioner at the Virginia Department of Health.

“We’re using every possible approach to fight this virus and keep Virginians healthy,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement to AP. “The COVIDWISE app is completely anonymous, protects personal privacy, and gives you an additional tool to protect yourself and your community,” he added while encouraging Virginians to download the application.

Meanwhile, Northern Virginia does not have a tracking system in place for inmates who have been released early due to fears surrounding the virus, FOX 5 reported Aug. 10. A young woman was murdered in Northern Virginia by a man accused of raping her, media reports show. He was released due to the virus after being previously held without bond, FOX 5 reported.

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