EXPLAINER: Who is next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia

Who is included in Phase 1b

EXPLAINER: Who is next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia
Covid-19 vaccine (Source: Isabelle Hanson/KFVS)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As many health districts in Virginia gear up to move into the next phase of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, there are questions about who is considered to be in Phase 1b.

Starting on Jan. 18, health districts in the Richmond-area will begin vaccinations for those in Phase 1b.

Those in Phase 1b

Phase 1b includes frontline essential workers, and per Gov. Ralph Northam, those aged 65+ or have comorbidities now qualify to get the vaccine in Phase 1b, as well.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, this will be the order of frontline essential worker vaccinations:

  • Police, Fire, and Hazmat
  • Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  • Childcare/K-12 Teachers/Staff
  • Food and Agriculture (including Veterinarians)
  • Manufacturing
  • Grocery store workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Mail carriers (USPS and private)
  • Officials needed to maintain continuity of government (includes judges and public-facing judicial workers)

As for those 65 and older, along with those who have qualifying medical conditions, their vaccine the following way according to VDH:

“Many of the people who are included in Phase 1b because of their age will be offered the vaccine through their healthcare provider. Others in this category will be able to access vaccination through their local health department or through arrangements with healthcare systems and pharmacies. Information will be coming out from local health departments and healthcare providers about how and when people in Phase 1b can receive their COVID-19 vaccine,” VDH said.

A list of qualifying medical conditions can be found, HERE.

The plan so far

Police, Fire, and Hazmat (Phase 1b, Group 1)

There are three large-scale events planned by Henrico County, RHHD, Chickahominy Health District and Chesterfield Health District to vaccinate police, fire, and hazmat next week.

Corrections and homeless shelter workers & residents (Phase 1b, Group 2)

A mobile vaccination clinic will travel to correctional facilities. The district has partnered with the Daily Planet Health Services to administer vaccines to homeless shelter staff and residents. These programs are expected to begin by the end of January, if not sooner.

Childcare/PreK-12 Teachers/Staff (Phase 1b, Group 3)

Employees of public school systems in Richmond, Henrico, Chickahominy, and Chesterfield will be able to register for next week’s large-scale regional vaccination events. They will receive information from their employer on that.

Adults aged 65+ and those 16–64 with comorbidities

The Richmond-Henrico Health District will open up vaccination events to adults aged 65+ in the coming weeks.

The health district released the following information on this group:

“RHHD is also coordinating additional venues for adults aged 65+ to get vaccinated through primary care providers and pharmacies. Large primary care providers in our area, including the safety net providers, are receiving shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate their existing 65+ year old patient populations. These providers will reach out to their patients directly. This program will expand and more providers will become eligible to administer vaccines to their qualified patients. Additionally, RHHD has developed partnerships with small and large pharmacy chains to offer storefront vaccinations to adults aged 65+. We will share more details on pharmacy partnerships next week.”

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will start to open up the vaccination process to people aged 16–64 with comorbidities and frontline essential workers in Phase 1b Groups 4–9 by the end of January. Access to vaccination will depend on the available supply of the vaccine.

How to find out which phase you are included in

The Virginia Department of Health created an online tool to help people figure out which phase of the vaccination plan they are included in. You can find that link, HERE. This link is NOT a way to sign up for the vaccine but a way to gauge people’s interest in getting it.

For more information about which phase your local health district is in or just more information about the vaccine in general, CLICK HERE.

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