CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Department of Health is urging people not to travel to vaccination clinics in other health districts, unless you already have an appointment there.
“We understand it’s hard to be patient and wait for the vaccine supply to increase in the health district,” Blue Ridge Health District Spokesperson Kathryn Goodman said.
There are stories all over the place about people leaving the Charlottesville-area to get a COVID-19 vaccine somewhere else in the commonwealth with one city getting mentioned more than others.
“We’ve heard of a lot of different community members and students driving down to Danville to get their first dose of the vaccine,” Goodman said.
VDH says it’s not OK to jump the line out of town.
“We really want to make sure that because one has access to a car and can drive several hours, that isn’t the selective advantage to get the vaccine ahead of other people,” UVA Health Infectious Disease Doctor Costi Sifri said.
Sifri says equity has to be a top priority.
“One should take a step back and say, ‘am I amongst the 70 to 75% of individuals at highest risk for COVID? Does it make sense that I receive a vaccine now?’ If you ask that question to yourself and your answer is no, perhaps it’s not the time for you to drive in a car and seek a vaccine,” Sifri said.
VDH said in a press release Wednesday, March 24, “Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that only those individuals who receive an appointment or invitation to attend a Community Vaccination Center (CVC) event will be permitted inside to be vaccinated.”
BRHD Director Denise Bonds says trying to get a shot can be frustrating, but your time will come.
“I know it’s difficult to wait, and I promise that we are working every day to get every vaccine that comes into our health district into someone’s arm,” Bonds said.
If you are someone who did get a shot out of town, Goodman says don’t look for your second dose here.
“Given the limited vaccine supply, we are unable to provide second doses for individuals who are going to these larger vaccination center clinics,” Goodman said.
BRHD is urging everyone to pre-register for their coronavirus vaccine if they haven’t done so already, because that impacts how many shots are allocated to this health district.