VDH preparing two plans for COVID-19 booster shots as feds debate six-month or eight-month window

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s Vaccine Coordinator says the timeline for when you may need a COVID-19 booster could change.

“There is still some speculation that could come sooner. So, we’re really planning for a six-month scenario and an eight-month scenario,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.

Dr. Avula says that difference will make a big impact. With an eight-month window, the state health department estimates about 250,000 people will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster starting the week of Sept. 20. If that changes to six months, 1.3 million will be eligible.

“That’s going to be some strain on the system, and so we’re really eagerly awaiting what that recommendation from the White House is going to be,” said Dr. Avula.

Currently, the state hopes to handle boosters through pharmacies, private providers and some health department help. But if that booster shot window shrinks, we could see more mass clinics like at The Richmond Raceway and The Arthur Ashe Center.

“We are also looking at do we need to have a larger site, and we are talking with the state. We’re talking with our county and locality partners to say, what would a larger site look like and how soon could we stand that up,” said Dr. Melissa Virary, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts.

Preparing for boosters later this month, RHHD is standing up smaller vaccine clinics now to help with what is to come. Wednesday afternoon, health care workers at Eastern Henrico Recreation center offered Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines for those eligible.

We expect a decision on six or eight months for boosters by September 20.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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