RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Eligible people in the Richmond region will soon get the next round of COVID-19 vaccines. The rollout begins on Monday for folks classified under Phase 1B.
It includes people 75 and up, police fire and hazmat, corrections and homeless shelter workers, and childcare or school staff.
Within the week, VDH said they plan to vaccinate roughly 8,000 seniors and frontline essential workers in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield and the Chickahominy health district.
Dr. Melissa Viray, acting director of the Richmond and Henrico health districts, said we can expect seven mass vaccination events next week. Four of these events will be organized by the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and held at the Richmond Raceway. The other three are regional events held by the Virginia Department of Health. VDH said vaccines will be administered through a combination of the regional mass vaccination events, as well as partnerships with various providers.
She added that eligible frontline workers will be notified by their employers on how to register for a vaccine. “One of the things we ask them is, we really want to make sure your public facing, your front facing, your student facing are the ones we get to first,” Dr. Viray said.
For example, a Henrico County spokesperson told 8News that Henrico fire, police, and sheriff’s deputies are being notified about where and when to get their vaccine next week.
“Health districts will continue to prioritize future phases of vaccination using VDH guidelines, with an emphasis on those who cannot perform their work remotely and have increased exposure risk interfacing with the public or in close proximity to coworkers,” a VDH representative said in a news release.
These plans are in the works as some local healthcare workers continue to get vaccinated under Phase 1A. Monica Shui, a dental hygienist from Goochland, received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. “I just couldn’t get it soon enough,” she said. “Roll your sleeve up, get your shot, do your part.”
She had a notable spectator. Governor Ralph Northam stopped by the event to give an update on vaccine distribution in the state. “That’s the way we’re gonna get this pandemic behind us,” he said.
“Our initial goal is to get to 25,000 doses a day in Virginia and then as quick as we can, get to 50,000 [a day],” Northam added.
Health officials are calling these vaccinations a “sign of hope” that put us one step closer to overcoming this pandemic.
A virtual news conference with RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras, Mayor Levar Stoney, and Dr. Viray was held Wednesday.
Kamras said all RPS employees will be eligible for the vaccine under phase 1B. He said in-person staff like bus drivers, nutrition workers, and administration workers will be getting the shot first. Educators are teaching virtually for the rest of the year.
However, officials continue to make one thing clear: their main goal is getting the vaccine into arms. “If we can, we really want to promote flexibility,” Northam said. The governor said there have been instances where they’ve ended up with unused vaccine doses. “At the end of each week, depending on the supply, we want those doses in people’s arms.”
VDH said there will be more information coming between now and Monday on how people 75 and up can register for a vaccine. They expect to movie on with the rest of phase 1B vaccinations, like for grocery workers, within a couple of weeks.
If you live or work in Richmond City or Henrico County and think you may qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine under phase 1A or 1B, you’re told to visit vax.rchd.com to fill out a COVID-19 interest form. Call 804-205-3501 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) if you need assistance.
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