VACCINE INFO: How to find timelines and locations in Virginia health districts
RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/VDH Release) - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has begun Phase 1b vaccinations in some health districts.
To determine your local health department and to check your health district’s website for additional information, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/local-health-districts/.
The number of people in priority group 1a — healthcare personnel and people living in long-term care — differs across geographic regions. While many localities remain focused on 1a vaccinations, 11 health districts have begun gradually adding vaccination opportunities for the following groups: frontline essential workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Overlap of vaccination of groups is needed to ensure people are vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible, according to VDH.
Phase 1b underway in Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside Health Districts:
Phase 1b includes police, fire and hazmat response personnel, those living and working in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps, childcare/K-12 teachers and staff, food and agriculture workers, manufacturers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, mail carriers (USPS and private), anyone 65 years and older, and those individuals 16-64 years with high risk medical conditions. Residents in Phase 1a will still be provided opportunities to receive the vaccine.
People will be required to have a personal form of identification such as a driver’s license, and may also be asked to show proof of qualification, such as a work ID, to verify eligibility. The COVID-19 vaccine is not available to the general public and these “point of dispensing” events are not public events.
Essential employees will be scheduled through their employers. Vaccination planning teams are reaching out to coordinate with employers in Phase 1b. Employers of Phase 1b essential create a spreadsheet with all the qualifying employees- proper name, contact email (and mobile phone if desired), and indicate which employees has expressed a willingness to accept the vaccine.
Individuals 65 years and older and those 16-64 years with high risk medical conditions who live in PDHD should call (434) 766-9828 and those individuals in SSHD should call (434) 738-6545 to schedule an appointment. Both health districts are experiencing high call volumes and ask that callers be patient.
The complete definitions of all phases, data and other information are on VDH’s Vaccine Response website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. Anyone can use this brief eligibility to find out which vaccination phase they fall under.
Per Carilion Clinic, the best way for people in category 1b to indicate their interest in being vaccinated is by filling out the appropriate health district’s survey:
· Alleghany Health District - Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig and Roanoke counties; cities of Covington and Salem
· Cumberland Plateau Health District - Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties
· Mount Rogers Health District - Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington and Wythe counties; cities of Bristol and Galax
· New River Health District - Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties; city of Radford
· Roanoke City Health District - City of Roanoke
All areas of the Commonwealth are expected to move to Phase 1b before the end of January.
The following health districts began Phase 1b vaccinations the week of January 11:
- Cumberland Plateau
- Lord Fairfax
- Mount Rogers
- New River
- Prince William
- Roanoke County/Allegheny
Moving forward, local health districts will announce as they move into Phase 1b. This information will also be available on the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
“This is an important step that will provide increased flexibility to health districts across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH newly appointed COVID Vaccine Coordinator. “The Governor has made it very clear that the state should not be holding anyone back — if health districts are ready and able to begin Phase 1b vaccinations, they must be able to do so.”
“We are excited to begin vaccinating more people as we continue to work to put this pandemic behind us,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “The number of calls to our VDH hotline and to our local health departments asking about vaccines is evidence that people want this protection. Our goal is to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. Vaccines are our best hope to get back to normal.”
It will take several weeks to months to vaccinate Virginians who fall into Phase 1b, according to VDH, which says the ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available.
Currently the federal government is allocating about 110,000 doses of vaccine to Virginia a week. The amount of vaccine available in the United States will depend on the capabilities of the manufacturers to produce the vaccine safely and is expected to increase later gradually over the next months, said VDH.
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