Henrico County leads in vaccination numbers in Central Va.

Henrico County leads in vaccination numbers in Central Va.

HENRICO Co., Va. (WWBT) - Data shows Henrico County is administering more COVID-19 vaccines than other jurisdictions in Central Virginia.

As of Wednesday, nearly 38,000 vaccine doses have been administered across the county with Chesterfield following closely behind at nearly 32,500.

On Tuesday, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors held a COVID-19 vaccine community meeting.

Henrico County Health District Nurse Manager Amy Popovich, said right now a focus is on mass vaccinations, as we have seen over the last few weeks. However, she added it is going to take time to get through the Phase 1b group.

“We estimate the population of residents who are 65 and older in Henrico and Richmond who are not living in long-term care facilities is about 55,000,” Popovich said.

On Jan. 14, Governor Ralph Northam expanded the Phase 1b group to include people over the age of 65 and anyone ages 16-64 with an underlying condition or disability that might increase their risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.

However, shortly after, Virginia health leaders received bad news.

“About 24 to 48 hours later, the federal government kind of changed course and said actually we’re not going to be releasing second dose stores, you will continue to get that 105,000 doses a week for the foreseeable future,” said Dr. Danny Avula, the State Vaccine Coordinator.

That left Virginia with an expanded 1b group, but not enough vaccine doses. Since then, Avula said the state is now receiving roughly 122,000 doses weekly.

In Richmond and Henrico, those doses are being allocated in certain ways.

“If we look at 100% of the vaccines that we get, we’re dedicating 50% of that vaccine to individuals who are 65 and older, we’re dedicating 40% to essential workers and there’s still a little bit of 1a - so health care personnel, in that 40%,” Popovich said.

Meanwhile, the remaining 10% on the graph is going to individuals in congregate settings, including prisons, shelters, and recovery homes.

However, if you are in group 1b and haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, health leaders said it will come, especially if you’ve filled out an interest form.

“We’ve received about 60,000 interest forms for individuals who are 65 and older and about 40,000 interest forms for the 1b population,” Popovich said. “So that’s about 100,000 forms.”

That 40,000 number includes frontline essential workers, such as first responders and K-12 school employees.

Administrators are working to create a mail system that will send an email and confirm those forms have been received, but Popovich said it is a work in progress. In the meantime, she added staff does have your information to move forward with scheduling appointments.

While the health district is constantly updating things based on citizen feedback, Henrico County is leading when it comes to its vaccination rate per 100,000 people, surpassing even Fairfax County.

“Our employees are working hard and putting their heart into everything they can do to make sure that these vaccines, as soon as they come to us, they’re going to the people who need them the most and they’re not sitting on shelves,” said Anthony McDowell, Deputy County Manager of Public Safety in Henrico.

Additionally, on Wednesday the Richmond Henrico Health District released data from the vaccination events, like at the Richmond Raceway thanks to partnerships with the Chesterfield and Chickahominy Health Districts.

“From January 13-15th, more than 3,971 people received their first vaccine dose at these events,” a news release said. “The week of January 25, we vaccinated an additional 15,239 people both at the Raceway and through other events and partnering providers.”

For individuals who already received their first dose at one of these mass events, they will be contacted in the future when it comes to the second dose appointment. However, if you have questions or concerns, you are asked to email them to RHHD.

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