VDH states residency does not matter when receiving vaccine at open clinics

VDH states residency does not matter when receiving vaccine at open clinics
Vaccine (Source: Provided)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - On Wednesday, Gov. Ralph Northam stated at a press conference that he realizes there has been some confusion on when and where to receive a vaccine after the commonwealth has expanded who is eligible to receive it.

“That confusion is justified because the answer has not been clear, but we’re going to have this fixed very soon,” Northam said.

Some of that confusion is being felt in the Shenandoah Valley by some of our most vulnerable.

Susie Dinsmore, 69, lives in the Central Shenandoah Health District and said she’s added checking her email to her retirement routine.

“I do check every day just to make sure there’s not some new link or something that I’ve missed,” Dinsmore said.

She said even after filling out forms on the CDC and VDH’s websites, she’s one of many Virginians who are concerned why she and her 77-year-old husband cannot get any solid information on when and where she can receive the vaccine.

“Either I’ve gotten no response but I’ll get a response that gives me links to sites that tell me what to do to prevent getting COVID,” Dinsmore said.

She said she’s seen open public clinics pop up around the Valley like the one at Page County High School last Friday, but has not heard of one in the Central Shenandoah Health District.

“I just assumed that it was just for that area and I didn’t even think about going,” Dinsmore said. “Then we saw on social media that different people from Harrisonburg said, oh I got up there at 6 a.m. and got my vaccination.”

WHSV reached out to the Virginia Department of Health and asked what their policy is on people living in another health district and going to open vaccination clinics.

Their response:

Proof of Virginia residency is not required to receive a COVID vaccine from VDH. COVID vaccines are intended to be used for the residents in the districts where the vaccines are provided, but there is no residency requirement. No one who qualifies otherwise is refused a vaccine based on where they live.

Photo identification also is not required for vaccination. It is important, however, to have some way to confirm your identity (i.e. name, date of birth) so we can confirm that we are vaccinating the right person.

And government-issued identification is not required to receive a vaccination. You can not be turned away for lack of documentation.

Residents are recommended to seek 2nd doses at the same location where they received the 1st, if possible, but this is not required.

For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

Robert Parker, PIO of VDH for Western Region

According to the VDH’s website they recommend, it is best to work with your local health department.

Dinsmore said after seeing this statement she tried signing up for an open clinic in Winchester but it had filled up within a matter of minutes.

Northam also announced on Wednesday that the state will be moving to a single statewide vaccination system but there is no time as to when the updated system will come out.

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