VDH: Next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations to start in northern, western VA

VDH: Next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations to start in northern, western VA
COVID-19 vaccine (Source: WAVE 3 News)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Starting on Jan. 11, health districts around Virginia, mainly in the northern and western parts of the state, will begin vaccinating the next groups of people in line for the shot, in Phase 1b.

Those in group 1b include frontline essential workers like first responders (police, fire, EMS), grocery store and public transit employees, teachers, people age 75 and older, and those living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps.

Group 1a- health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities- are already getting their shots. However, not everyone in that group is fully vaccinated, as the effort continues.

“This is an important step that will provide increased flexibility to health districts across the Commonwealth,” said COVID Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula. “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.”

All health districts are expected to be in Phase 1b before the end of the month.

The following health districts will begin the next group of vaccinations:

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Cumberland Plateau
  • Fairfax
  • Lenowisco
  • Lord Fairfax
  • Loudoun
  • Mount Rogers
  • New River
  • Prince William
  • Roanoke County/Allegheny

“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. “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, depending on the supply of the vaccine, which is still fairly limited. That means not everyone who reaches out to schedule a vaccine appointment may be successful, right now.

Virginia is receiving about 110,000 new vaccine doses per week from the federal government.

A lot of the people in group 1b will be receiving the vaccine through their employers, which are already coordinating with local health districts.

Individuals in group 1b can also make arrangements with pharmacies and healthcare providers, directly. However, VDH says you should get more specific info from your local health district.

For more information, click here.

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