Some health districts moving to general population vaccines next week
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Roanoke City & Alleghany Health Districts will begin to invite pre-registered residents from those districts in Phase 2 (General Population) to make vaccination appointments during the week of April 5. That’s based on the current demand and increasing supply of COVID-19 vaccine, according to district officials.
But before vaccines are opened to General Population residents registered in Phase 2, all RCAHD residents in Phase 1a, 1b, or 1c are encouraged to use the links that have been sent to them to register for an appointment. Any RCAHD Phase 1a-, 1b- or 1c-eligible resident who has had difficulty scheduling a first dose vaccine appointment is urged to email RCHAD at RCAHDCovidResponse@vdh.virginia.gov or call the dedicated 1st dose appointment hotline, which is 540-613-6597, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Pittsylvania/Danville Health District and Southside Health District will also expand vaccination efforts to Phase 2. Everyone in the PDHD and SSHD age 16 and older will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, April 5.
After the districts are assured they have prioritized appointments to RCAHD Phase 1a, 1b, and 1c residents, they will send invitations April 5 to RCAHD residents who are pre-registered in Phase 2 (General Population) via the state website, vaccinate.virginia.gov.
RCAHD officials say they will continue to prioritize vaccination for anyone in Phase 1a, 1b and 1c who registers to receive it. Although eligibility guidelines are being expanded to the General Population, all residents must continue to pre-register for an appointment. Walk-ins will not be honored at clinics.
Phase 1a of vaccination includes health care personnel and those in long-term care facilities. Phase 1b includes those 65 and older, frontline essential workers and people age 16-64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at increased risk of severe illness. Phase 1c includes other essential workers. Phase 2 includes the General Population ages 16 and older. All phases are identified in detail at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.
“To date, more than 138,000 first and second doses of vaccine have been administered in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts,” said Cynthia Morrow, RCAHD health director. “Vaccine supplies have increased significantly. We expect to distribute at least 9,000 first and second doses next week.”
“We are pleased to begin offering appointments to all members of general public in Pittsylvania/Danville Health District and Southside Health District that have pre-registered,” said Dr. Scott Spillmann, director of the PDHD and SSHD. “However, those with the highest risk will continue to receive priority in the scheduling process.”
When you receive your appointment for a vaccine, follow these health district guidelines at the vaccination site:
· Appointments are required at all locations for COVID-19 vaccination in our area. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please pre-register to be contacted for an appointment.
· Please plan to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your appointment time. Too many people arriving too early causes backups.
· Please wear “vaccine ready” clothing to the extent feasible (with easy access to your upper arm).
All people interested in receiving vaccine in Virginia are encouraged to pre-register at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.
Everybody is urged by health officials to pre-register even if they are not currently eligible to receive vaccine.
With the expansion of doses coming in to the area, they say they may more quickly have supplies available to expand to additional populations.
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