All five of Northern Virginia's health districts will begin Phase 1b vaccinations on Monday after Gov. Ralph Northam’s directive this week to speed up vaccine distribution across the state.

The Virginia Department of Health said 11 health districts will begin gradually adding vaccination opportunities for the following groups: frontline essential workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Overlap of vaccination of groups is needed to ensure people are vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible, VDH said in a news release.

All areas of the Commonwealth are expected to move to Phase 1b before the end of January.

The following health districts will begin Phase 1b vaccinations next week:

  • Alexandria
  • Arlington
  • Cumberland Plateau
  • Fairfax
  • Lenowisco
  • Lord Fairfax
  • Loudoun
  • Mount Rogers
  • New River
  • Prince William
  • Roanoke County/Allegheny

Moving forward, local health districts will announce as they move into Phase 1b. 

“This is an important step that will provide increased flexibility to health districts across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Danny Avula, MD, MPH newly appointed COVID Vaccine Coordinator. “The Governor has made it very clear that the state should not be holding anyone back — if health districts are ready and able to begin Phase 1b vaccinations, they must be able to do so.”

“We are excited to begin vaccinating more people as we continue to work to put this pandemic behind us,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “The number of calls to our VDH hotline and to our local health departments asking about vaccines is evidence that people want this protection. Our goal is to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. Vaccines are our best hope to get back to normal.”

It will take several weeks to months to vaccinate Virginians who fall into Phase 1b. The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available.

Vaccine supply in the United States is still very limited, health officials said. Currently the federal government is allocating about 110,000 doses of vaccine to Virginia a week. The amount of vaccine available in the United States will depend on the capabilities of the manufacturers to produce the vaccine safely and is expected to increase later gradually over the next months.

To determine your local health department and to check your health district’s website for additional information, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/local-health-districts/.

For more information about Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

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(5) comments

Citizen52

Nevermind; read it. I don’t understand why inmates and homeless are placed above those at high medical risk.

Citizen52

Having a neighbor with a high risk medical condition through no fault of his own, he is a prisoner in his own home. He’s not old enough, not an inmate, nor living in a homeless camp. I do his essential shopping for him so he doesn’t have to go out. I did not see the schedule for these folks to be vaccinated. Did I miss something?

pmccon

It’s the residential environment in a corrections facility that promotes the spread of covid. there are workers there that are not criminals . Due to the environment I have to vaccinate everyone.

Mike73

Not understanding why criminals are a higher priority than a tax-paying citizen of the same age. And how many migrant labor camps do we have in Virginia. Or is that code for vaccinating undocumented aliens?

Skeptical1

Gee, Mike, I guess your question is really a political opinion; but the answer is that the objective is to save lives. Like nursing homes, residents of prisons live in conditions that favor the spread of the disease. Some jurisdictions in other states have actually released large numbers of prisoners rather than essentially sentence them to death by Covid.

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