Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
- All communities are expected to move into Phase 1c by mid-April.
- Anyone 16 years old or older who lives or works in Virginia will be eligible for a vaccine in Phase 2, which is expected to begin by May 1.
- All of these events are by appointment only and no walk-ins will be accepted.
- Individuals, who have pre-registered for the vaccine and are eligible under the state’s current phase for distribution, will be contacted to make an appointment to receive their vaccine doses.
- Providers or pharmacies may ask for people to provide a photo ID or health insurance information, and may use information such as social security numbers to look up information; however, this is not required and receiving the vaccine should not be contingent on providing such documentation.
- Any administration fees will be covered by insurance companies or by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Provider Relief Fund.
- Providers can ask for insurance information to charge for a vaccine administration fee, but cannot withhold vaccine if the person doesn’t have insurance or declines to provide information.
- Providers who have administered COVID-19 vaccines to uninsured individuals should file claims for reimbursement via the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal. For more information, visit the HRSA website.
- Refer to the newly released Training Modules for Community COVID-19 Vaccinators for suggested training modules to prepare to provide safe and effective immunizations.
- Report deficiencies to McKesson directly at (833)-272-6634 or SNSSupport@McKesson.com. The customer service desk is charged with responding to problems and identifying trends.
- Next, report deficiencies to VDH (email@example.com) or clinic/hospital leadership who may then contact the Operation Regional Liaison Officer. This helps identify trends in problematic equipment.
- If an error or injury occurs during vaccine administration, enter the information into the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), and because a syringe is a medical device, complete FDA form 3500.
- Calibration testing should be done every two to three years or according to the manufacturer’s suggested timeline. TMDs can experience a “drift” over time, affecting their accuracy. This testing ensures that the accuracy of the device continues to conform to nationally accepted standards (Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, Section 3, pg. 10).
- Effective immediately, awardee-purchased temperature monitoring devices must be tested every two to three years.
- Please email the helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Best Practice Spotlight
Curbside and drive-through clinics may provide the best option for staff and patient safety for sites with limited indoor space. Consider implementing the following best practices when setting up a drive-through clinic.
- If vaccinating patients while they are in their vehicles, ensure patients put their vehicle in park for the entire time (or ask them to turn the vehicle off) and bring stools for vaccinators to ensure they can vaccinate patients in taller trucks or vans.
- Consider having patients wait their 15-30 minute observation period after vaccination in their cars in a separate parking lot that is monitored by EMS. Instruct any patient waiting in a car to activate their car’s panic alarm or horn if they need emergency assistance.
- In all situations when patients will be waiting in cars, staff should be continuously walking through the parking lot to monitor the individuals in their cars. For example, consider having EMS continually traverse the lines of cars in golf carts to identify those that may be compromised and unable to hit the panic button or sound their horn, and to assist those who sound their alarm and need immediate assistance.
- Cones with white boards in front of the cars may be used to indicate the time the vaccine was administered and estimated time the individual may be released.
- Patients requiring a 30-minute observation period should wait within continuous direct sight of the observing staff inside in the monitored medical observation waiting area. If sent to their car for observation, ensure they are differentiated in some way from those waiting only 15 minutes. For example, provide recipients with colored wristbands based on how long they need to wait. Then, instruct those with 30 minute wristbands park their cars in a separate area than those with 15 minute wristbands. To determine if a patient needs to be observed for 15 minutes or 30 minutes, refer to CDC Clinical Considerations.
- For more guidance, watch the short post-vaccination period micro learning on the VDH website in the resources for vaccine clinics site.
Check out our complete list of COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Best Practices here.
- Monday-Friday 4-5 pm: VDH Office Hours for Providers
- March 23, 11:30am-12:30pm: Meet President Biden’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair: A Fireside Chat with Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith
- March 23, 3pm - 4pm: NACCHO Webinar: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
- March 25, 1pm - 2pm: CDC Foundation Webinar: Partnering with Communities to Navigate Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines
- March 29: Merieux Foundation International Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccination Introduction & Acceptance
- These webinars will bring together international experts to showcase examples of challenges and success stories reported in specific countries during the COVID-19 vaccine introduction, adoption and implementation and the related crisis management aspects. Participation is free but registration is required.
- Register for Session 1 (8:00am - 10:30am (CET)/2am EST- 4:30 am EST)
- Register for Session 2 (4:00pm - 6:30pm (CET)/10am-11:30am EST)
- The effort to administer COVID-19 vaccines to a large number of people in a variety of settings may increase the risk for needlestick injuries among vaccinators and other vaccination site workers. Needlestick injuries (NSIs) can transmit bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. View and share the four-minute VDH micro learning and CDC resource that provide guidance on preventing NSIs.
- Moderna announced that the first participants have been dosed with its modified COVID-19 vaccines, designed to address the potential need for booster vaccine candidates against the B.1.351 variant, in an amendment to the ongoing Phase 2 clinical study.
- GSA has released a fact sheet titled “Championing COVID-19 Vaccine for older adults and staff in long-term care settings.”
- The White House released a Fact Sheet on March 11: “President Biden to Announce All Americans to Be Eligible for Vaccinations by May 1, Puts the Nation on a Path to Get Closer to Normal by July 4th”
- The White House COVID-19 Response Team holds regular press briefings during the week, typically on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at ~11:00 am EDT.
Information about the COVID-19 vaccination program is changing frequently. This newsletter will offer regular updates to providers who have submitted an intent to vaccinate or signed the CDC provider agreement within Virginia.