VDH says vaccine appointments could take months, blames limited supplies

Richmond - Henrico Health District talks supply, equity issues

VDH says vaccine appointments could take months, blames limited supplies

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A callback from the Virginia Health Department (VDH) could take days or weeks, and a vaccine appointment could be weeks or even months off.

VDH said that’s the result of extraordinarily high demand for the COVID-19 vaccine and significantly limited supplies.

“We still unfortunately do not have the supply to be able to distribute to partners outside of the safety net and few pharmacies,” said Amy Popovich, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts Nurse Manager.

State health officials confirm this week’s federal shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine will increase by 17,000. Virginia was receiving about 105,000 doses per week.

“The governor did mention last week a 16% increase in supply. That has not affected our supply this week. We anticipate it could affect our supply next week but we have not received specifics on that yet,” said Popovich.

In Richmond and Henrico County, the health department said it received 6,300 doses this week. Half will go to seniors and the other half to frontline essential workers and those in shelters and jails.

The local health department held a virtual community conversation Monday morning about vaccine supply and equity issues moving forward.

“It requires us to remove obstacles to health such as poverty and discrimination, again two things that are very, very real and the reality for many of our community members,” said Jackie Lawrence, RHHD Director of Health Equity.

Over the weekend, a vaccine blitz intended to get an additional 40,000 vaccine shots in arms was a success. That included two mass vaccine clinics in the Richmond-area, another had to be postponed due to weather.

Meanwhile, a lot of you are asking if you can get the shot from a different health department than your own. The short answer is yes, but VDH is asking people to take supplies from their own community and not another. They don’t require a photo ID at vaccine sites.

“We are all in this together, and so we truly understand the collective grief and collective stress around this,” said Lawrence.

The state health department is transitioning to a new system to register for a vaccine, which starts Tuesday. If you signed up in the previous system, VDH says you do not need to re-register.

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