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New River Health District well into phase 1b of vaccine distribution

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 11:29 PM EST
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) -Health leaders in the New River Valley say the health district is deep within vaccine group 1b. The district has received about 10,000 vaccines to date.

Wednesday was the first day for people who got their first vaccine from the health district to be eligible to get the second dose.

This does create a logistical problem, especially with the expansion of 1B to include people 65 and older. Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said this created false expectations in that group.

“Expanding it and adding more people doesn’t put those people at the top of the line,” Bissell said. “Right now we’re continuing to schedule our priorities in 1b, we are finishing up with our teachers and still really trying to get 75 and older population vaccinated.”

Bissell said there is an incredible demand for the vaccine that at times the hotline gets 100 calls per minute at some points. The New River Health District has trained more than 40 volunteers and has between five to eight working on shifts around the clock to serve everyone.

If you are in the 65-plus age group in the NRV, you are encouraged to preregister for a vaccine at the NRV Road to Wellness website. Bissell said appointments are filling into February now.

If you don’t have access to a computer, call 540-838-8222 to get your name in the queue. The health department will contact you to schedule an appointment.

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