February 5, 2021

Media Contact: Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, robert.parker@vdh.virginia.gov


(DANVILLE, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health’s Pittsylvania/Danville Health District, in cooperation with Sovah Health-Danville, the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, the Averett University and Danville Community College Schools of Nursing and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers, will conduct a closed “point of dispensing” (POD) COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, February 6 at Cherrystone Missionary Baptist Association, 5551 Tom Fork Road in Ringgold.

“Registration for this event is prioritized for people and communities at highest risk of contracting COVID-19, and of experiencing more serious effects of illness, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” said Scott J. Spillmann, MD, MPH, health director, Pittsylvania/Danville and Southside Health Districts. “We look forward to providing vaccines to the most vulnerable members of our community members on Saturday. We are planning other vaccination events as quickly as possible.”

This POD is the third in a series of large vaccination events being planned in the health district, and the first in Pittsylvania County. Collaborative and ongoing efforts are under way to vaccinate those in Phases 1a and 1b who are most at risk of falling ill with COVID-19, and most critical to healthcare, public safety and the essential functions of society and to reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities. Thus far, nearly 5,500 vaccines have been administered in Danville and more than 3,700 in Pittsylvania County.

Those eligible for vaccine in Phases 1a and 1b can pre-register at www.vdh.virginia.gov/pittsylvania-danville. This portal is for residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County. Residents of the Southside Health District (Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties) may pre-register at www.vdh.virginia.gov/southside.

These portals DO NOT RESERVE A VACCINE OR CREATE AN APPOINTMENT but they collect contact information, so that when vaccine is available, VDH can contact you to make an appointment.

Friends and family members may also pre-register for those with limited or no computer resources. ONLINE PRE-REGISTRATION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Phone systems are overwhelmed, so please pre-register online if at all possible.

Vaccine demand is extraordinarily high and supplies are significantly limited. Return calls may take days or weeks, and vaccine appointments may take weeks or even months.

“It is critical that as many residents as possible use the online portal,” said Dr. Spillmann. “If you are not computer savvy, please ask a friend, a relative, or a neighbor to help you. The purpose of the portal is to get contact information for those ready and willing to get their vaccine, so that when a new clinic is open, we can quickly notify them to make an appointment. It will be a two-step process.”

ONCE YOU ARE PRE-REGISTERED, PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL TO CHECK YOUR STATUS. Please be patient. You will be contacted as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Please do not pre-register multiple times or leave multiple messages. Doing so will delay or prevent others from getting a vaccine.

“We will have a small army of vaccinators and support staff on Saturday to provide Moderna vaccine to those who pre-registered,” said Dr. Spillmann. “This vaccine requires two doses at least 28 days apart; so individuals vaccinated on Saturday will have an appointment scheduled for their second dose, and we will continue to offer additional clinics and work with our partners to vaccinate as many Virginians as possible, as quickly as possible.”

We ask that everyone who attends the POD continue to follow the three Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance (stay at least six feet apart) and Wash your hands. We will have areas for waiting at safe distances both before and after vaccination, and have arranged more private vaccination areas for those with special needs. We ask all who are to be vaccinated to please wear “vaccine ready” clothing to the extent feasible (with easy access to your upper arm) and that you arrive at your appointed time and bring your driver’s license or other documentation confirming your age.

“We continue to need volunteers to support our vaccination efforts, particularly those who are certified to give vaccines,” Dr. Spillmann continued. “Through the Medical Reserve Corps, anyone can volunteer to provide medical and non-medical support to help our communities recover from this pandemic.” For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/mrc.

“We ask for your patience and vigilance during this crucial time, so that we can provide protection to our most vulnerable community members,” Dr. Spillmann concluded. “If you have concerns for your health and vaccine, please consult your healthcare provider first.”

For more information on COVID-19 and vaccination, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

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A media tour of the POD, and an opportunity to capture videos and photos of the interior (but not interviews) will be offered Saturday morning from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. Interviews with selected agency representatives and local government officials will be available outside the facility from noon to 1 p.m.

If you are interested in either, please contact Caleb Ayers, public relations manager, Pittsylvania County, at 434-432-3575, 434-713-5974, or caleb.ayers@pittgov.org, NO LATER THAN 6 p.m., Friday, February 5.

To protect patient privacy, access inside the facility is not available, other than during the 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. media tour. You may respectfully approach attendees outside of the facility and talk to them there during the noon to 1 p.m. availability, if they provide consent.