Rappahannock Area Health District Receives Mini-Grant from Mary Washington Healthcare Foundation for Mass Vaccination Preparation

October 23, 2020

Media Contact: Allison Balmes-John, allison.balmes@vdh.virginia.gov

Rappahannock Area Health District Receives Mini-Grant from Mary Washington Healthcare Foundation for Mass Vaccination Preparation

(Fredericksburg, Va.)— The Mary Washington Hospital Foundation has awarded a $5000 “mini-grant” to the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) to purchase supplies in preparation for mass vaccination against COVID-19.

“Though a vaccine that protects against COVID-19 is not yet available, planning and preparation for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine is already underway at RAHD,” said Acting Health Director Dr. Denise Bonds. “One of the ways in which we can begin to prepare is to ensure we have the supplies we need in order to safely deliver vaccines to a large number of people, and this award will help the health district to begin to build our stockpile of supplies.”

The health district plans to use the grant funds to purchase standard supplies necessary for vaccination, including syringes, needles, Band-aids, and alcohol swabs, as well as personal protective equipment for vaccinators, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks.

In addition, funding from the mini-grant will cover some items unique to COVID-19 vaccination. Since many vaccines will be delivered in an outdoor drive-thru format, the health department will be able to purchase large outdoor heaters to keep staff and volunteers warm during the winter months.

“We want to thank our community partners, Mary Washington Healthcare and the Joe and Mary Wilson Community Benefit Fund, for helping us prepare for the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign,” said RAHD’s COVID-19 Incident Commander Dr. Joe Saitta. “Special thanks also to one of our RAHD staff members, Sonja Kegley, for her work in organizing our grant proposal. Community partnerships and the ongoing hard work of our staff have been critical to our response to the pandemic. This collaboration and work ethic will continue to be essential to our success as we move into the realm of mass vaccination.”

In lieu of a current vaccine to prevent COVID-19, RAHD encourages continued vigilance in following the precautions proven to slow the spread of the virus. This includes wearing a face mask when in public or around individuals outside your household, frequently washing your hands, practicing social distancing, frequently disinfecting contact surfaces, and staying home when you are sick.

For more information on Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination response, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/covid19vaccine/ . For more information about the Rappahannock Area Health District, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/Rappahannock.