PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Still not sure which COVID-19 vaccination phase you fall under in Virginia? The Virginia Department of Health has a new online quiz to help.
You answer where you live, your profession, age and more, and a couple more quick questions.
Once you’ve figured out which phase you’re in, figuring out when exactly you’ll get your first dose is the tricky part.
Low supplies of vaccines and logistics issues so far had kept Virginia from being able to expand its vaccinations to other groups on a large scale, outside of some cases in which people in non-priority groups were given doses that were getting ready to go bad. Experts say poor planning and lack of help from the federal level is main source of the issues, saying states just don’t have the resources.
Virginia had administered 189,283 of 560,400 distributed doses as of Jan, 11 (though state officials say there may be a reporting undercount of as much as 50,000 doses). It had recently ranked in the bottom 10 for states in terms of percentage administered, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. It’s now doing slightly better, per Bloomberg’s tracker.
In response, Gov. Northam said last week he’s trying to get 25,000 doses administered per day in the short-term and he’s pressuring hospitals and other health systems to fully use their doses through new policy. However it’s still unclear how health systems will coordinate to make sure those doses don’t get wasted.
Long-term care residents and staff, as well as health care workers were first in line for the vaccine, in the 1a category. Vaccinations in this group started last month, and state officials say 1a is expected to be vaccinated around the end of January.
1b includes frontline essential workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps. Teachers are also included in this group, something Gov. Ralph Northam said was critical to getting schools back open for in-person learning.
1b vaccinations were scheduled to start this week in select health districts (which have already vaccinated a majority of 1a populations), with future health districts announced on the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
Phase 1b is expected to take several weeks to months, with the next phase, 1c, taking “well into the spring” to vaccinate, Gov. Ralph Northam said last week. That group includes adults over 65, people with high risk medical conditions and other essential workers such as food service and transportation.
The general public was expected to be able to receive vaccines by early to mid-summer, but Northam’s office told the Virginia Mercury that’s now expected to be about mid-summer to fall. That’s if Virginia gets up to its goal of at least 50,000 doses administered a day, which could be helped through plans from the Biden administration to stop withholding second doses from Pfizer and Moderna shipments.
Still many things remain under about when, where and how Virginians will get their vaccinations. The Virginia Department of Health says it will have more information in the coming weeks. To visit their vaccination page, click here.