Health District gets Larger Site for COVID-19 Vaccinations

==================================================================

(Update-Jan. 14, 2021)

On Thursday, Virginia’s governor announced changes to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  Gov. Ralph Northam says people 65 years old and older are now in Phase 1b.  The Prince William Health District (Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park) is currently vaccinating residents who are in Phase 1a and Phase 1b.

Also, the governor says those people with underlying health conditions and can now be vaccinated.  Both of these groups had been in Phase 1c and are now in Phase 1b.   The reason for the change is the new CDC guidance.

===================================================================

CONTACT: PWHDEPR@vdh.virginia.gov  PWHD COVID-19 Call Center Information Line: (703) 872-7759 Call Center Hours:  9am-4:30 Monday–Sunday

 Also Larger Numbers of Residents will be Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations after George Mason University Provides Bigger Space to Local Health District

As you may know on Wednesday (January 6) Virginia’s governor released the priority groups for Phase 1b and Phase 1c.

Even though the health district is transitioning into Phase 1b, it will continue vaccinating those in the first phase (Phase 1a).  In addition, starting on January 25 the health district will begin giving the required second dose to those vaccine recipients who are due for their second dose of Moderna vaccine.

At this time, an email is required to schedule an appointment. The health district is actively working with local emergency management partners to ensure that those who do not have access to email can schedule appointments too. It is important to schedule an appointment, otherwise, only if there are doses available at the end of the clinic will people who walk in without an appointment will be vaccinated.

Priority groups listed in Phase 1b and Phase 1c that are part of an employer (school staff, grocery store workers, postal workers, etc.) will not be able to sign up for an appointment until the health district or local jurisdiction has coordinated with their employer.  The employer will be contacted to provide a list of employees’ names and email addresses.  When they are in the correct priority group, this list will be uploaded into an electronic scheduling system and the employee will be provided information on how to schedule an appointment.

The health district must complete the employment groups in the order that they are listed in Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. For example, the health district cannot vaccinate corrections and homeless shelter staff before it vaccinates law enforcement since law enforcement is prioritized to be vaccinated first in 1b.

Currently, there are two COVID-19 vaccines available, Moderna and Pfizer, both require two doses to be fully effective.  At this time, the health district is only offering the Moderna vaccine.  It is important to note that both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine must come from the same manufacturer.  For example, if someone received the Pfizer vaccine for the first dose, they absolutely need to have the Pfizer vaccine for the second dose.

Keep in mind that while the health district is moving into Phase 1b, the vaccination effort is heavily reliant on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) receiving enough vaccine from the federal government.  Still of the utmost importance is prioritizing the groups and that is based on the Virginia Unified Command recommendations supported by the governor.

The Prince William Health District (PWHD) is deeply grateful to George Mason University (GMU) for putting the community first and providing its facilities to be used as a place for residents of the Greater Prince William Area to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.  On Tuesday, January 19, the PWHD will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations at GMU.

This much larger space will give the health district the ability to vaccinate greater numbers of people.  In addition, it will allow for safety measures such as the required social distancing of six-feet and it offers adequate space for the 15-minutes or more of observation time that is needed for people who just have been vaccinated.

This massive undertaking to vaccinate the greater public is requiring an all-hands-on-deck community effort.  That is why it is wonderful to know that in this time of crisis, GMU has stepped up to help the community.

The move to this larger space is especially critical, as the PWHD transitions into Phase 1b of the Virginia vaccination program.  The need for a larger site became more urgent after learning of the massive number of people who are in this second phase (Phase 1b) of the program.

Also, the health district is truly grateful to Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park for their continuous partnership during this COVID-19 crisis.  The Office of Emergency Management in each locality continues to work with the health district in finding and securing larger spaces for our community partners in order to expand vaccination sites throughout our community.  Larger spaces for health district partners will mean more opportunities for the community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.