January 15, 2021
Media Contact: Kathryn Goodman, Blue Ridge Health District
Blue Ridge Health District Will Expand COVID-19 Vaccination to “Phase 1b” Recipients
Beginning, Monday, January 18, the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) will expand vaccination to “Phase 1b” priority groups at closed “point of dispensing” (POD) COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Phase 1b is the second group eligible to receive the vaccine, and includes police, fire and hazmat response personnel, those living and working in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps, childcare/K-12 teachers and staff, food and agriculture workers, manufacturers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, mail carriers (USPS and private) and anyone age 65 or over. This group also includes those community members 16-64 years of age with an underlying health condition. Individuals who have yet to receive the vaccine can still receive their first dose.
These individuals will be required to bring a personal form of identification such as a driver’s license, and may also be asked to show proof of qualification, such as a work ID, in order to verify eligibility. Additional PODs for Phase 1a are scheduled to continue vaccinating Phase 1a individuals while opening to vaccinate Phase 1b. Vaccine clinics are not open to the general public as public, walk-in events; appointments are required for everyone.
“We are pleased to provide a safe and effective vaccine to frontline healthcare workers, essential employees, and individuals over the age of 65, as well as those with high risk health conditions” said Blue Ridge Health District Director Dr. Denise Bonds “While the vaccine provides hope on the horizon, it will still be months before the vaccine is widely available publicly. It’s important to remember we are still very much in the trenches of this pandemic and we must continue to adhere to COVID-19 prevention practices.”
Registering for Phase 1B
Individuals eligible under Phase 1b in the Blue Ridge Health District – Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa, Greene, and Nelson – will be scheduled for vaccination in the following ways:
For Frontline Essential Workers
Essential employees will be scheduled through their employers. Vaccination planning teams are reaching out to coordinate with employers in Phase 1b. Employers of Phase 1b essential workers can also submit this survey for their staff to be vaccinated.
Individuals 65 years and older and individuals who are aged 16-64 with high risk medical conditions who live in the Blue Ridge Health District can schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in two different ways:
- Individuals who are 65 years and older should complete this online survey. Individuals who complete this form will receive follow up communication to schedule an appointment as soon as available. This form will be the fastest way to get an appointment but the timeline for an appointment is TBD. Important Note: Anyone who has already completed the form is already accounted for and will receive an email within the next three days to schedule an appointment.
- Individuals ages 16-64 with underlying health condition should complete this online survey. Individuals who complete this form will receive follow up communication to schedule an appointment as soon as available. This form will be the fastest way to get an appointment but the timeline for an appointment is TBD.
- Call our BRHD COVID-19 Hotline at 434-972-6261 from 8 am- 4:30 pm Monday-Friday, starting Monday, January 18. Important Note: Anyone who has already called BRHD’s COVID-19 hotline and been added to our list over the phone is accounted for and will receive a call back to schedule an appointment. Individuals who complete this form will receive follow up communication to schedule an appointment as soon as available. This form will be the fastest way to get an appointment but the timeline for an appointment is TBD.
As availability of the vaccine increases, Virginia will move to the other phases. The complete definitions of all phases, data and other information, are on VDH’s Vaccine Response website. Anyone can use this brief eligibility tool to find out which vaccination phase they fall under.
Virginians who do not fall into priority phases will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine when it is more widely available. Once the vaccine is rolled out to the general public, distribution will be similar to the flu vaccine. People will be able to get the vaccine from a local pharmacy, primary care physician, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)/free clinic, local health department or other clinic that is participating as a COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider.
In the meantime, it is important to remain vigilant in COVID-19 prevention. Continue to protect yourself and others: cover your mouth and nose with a mask, wash your hands often and well, stay at least six feet away from others, avoid gatherings with anyone who is not a member of your household and get a flu shot. You can learn more about the vaccine, its safety, and answers to frequently asked questions at VDH’s website and CDC’s website.