January 21, 2021
Media Contact: Liza de la Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Norfolk Department of Public Health Will Expand COVID-19 Vaccination to “Phase 1b” Recipients
(Norfolk, Va.) — Beginning, Monday, January 25, 2021, the Norfolk Department of Public Health (NDPH) will expand COVID-19 vaccination clinics to those who are eligible in Phase 1b. Virginia’s Phase 1b is defined as the vaccination of Frontline Essential Workers, people aged 65 years and older, people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps, and people aged 16 through 64 years with a high risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Frontline Essential workers are defined as workers who are in sectors essential to the functioning of society, are at substantially higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, and cannot work remotely, including:
- Police, Fire, and Hazmat
- People working in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps
- Childcare/K-12 Teachers/Staff (public and private)
- Food and Agriculture (including veterinarians)
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- Mail carriers (USPS and private)
- Officials needed to maintain continuity of government (including judges and public facing judicial workers)
NDPH vaccination clinics are closed to the general public. We will continue to prioritize Phase 1a healthcare workers for closed point of dispensing (PODs) until all Phase 1a workers have the opportunity for vaccination.
Beginning Monday, January 25 Norfolk residents who meet the Phase 1a or 1b eligibility requirements can preregister for a vaccine two ways:
- Online at www.norfolk,gov/covid19vaccine
- Call 664-SHOT (7478) Monday – Friday 8a – 4p
Eligible individuals are highly encouraged to use the online form due to long wait times. It is important to note the preregistration process will add you to a waitlist within the specific phase in which you are eligible. Preregistration does not schedule you for a COVID vaccine appointment. Due to limited vaccine availability, it could take up to 4 to 8 weeks before you are notified to schedule your appointment. Individuals must bring to their appointment a personal form of identification such as a driver’s license and asked to show proof of qualification, such as a work ID, in order to verify eligibility.
“We are pleased to announce we are now moving into Phase 1b and vaccinating our next eligible group,” said Norfolk Health District Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay. “As the vaccine becomes more widely available, it is still important to adhere to public health prevention practices.”
As availability of the vaccine increases, Virginia will move to the other phases. Phase 1c will include other essential workers. The complete definitions of all phases, data and other information, are on VDH’s Vaccine Response website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. 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.
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