RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Don’t delete that text message! Starting Monday, Nov. 28th, the Virginia Department of Health is sending alerts to certain residents in the Richmond area, encouraging them to get their COVID-19 booster.  

The Virginia Department of Health is now sending out text and voice message alerts encouraging central Virginia residents 50 years and older to get the COVID bivalent booster. 

The messages from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will alert residents if they are eligible for a booster shot based on their immunization records.

“The way that we are contacting people, is that when you received a prior COVID vaccine you provided your phone number to the doctor or the health pharmacy that you were getting your vaccine from,” said Christy Gray, Virginia’s Vaccine Coordinator. “So, that’s where we were getting that information from. So, if you would like to make sure that your phone number is up to date, call our call center at 877-829-4682.”

The message will also list locations where free boosters are available and provide resources to schedule an appointment.  

“We really want to increase the uptick of the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine in those that are most at risk for severe illness and we really want to make sure for those that are 50 years and up realize that they are eligible for the vaccine and where to go to schedule their appointment,” added Gray.

Gray went on to explain what to look out for, so you know the message isn’t a scam. 

“The message from the VDH will indicate a website or,” Gray said.  

And remember, there’s no cost to you when you do go get the shot. If you have any questions or concerns about whether you should get a vaccine or which vaccine or booster is right for you, go online to for more information.

“All COVID vaccines are free and there’s no added out-of-pocket expense. What that means is that if you go and get vaccinated a provider or pharmacist can charge your insurance plan, but they cannot charge you or withhold the vaccine if you do not provide it,” mentioned Gray.  

Residents do not need to wait for this notification to get a bivalent booster. Eligible individuals can schedule an appointment online — or if you don’t have access to the internet, call the Virginia Department of Health.