April 1, 2021: On April 1st, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will begin opening up vaccination appointments for essential workers in Phase 1c. While many frontline essential workers were classified in Phase 1b by the Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health, Phase 1c includes many additional essential workers who play a key role in the functioning of society and/or interact regularly with the public and so have increased potential for exposure to COVID-19. Phase 1c includes workers from the following sectors:
- Water, Wastewater, and Waste removal (includes recycling removal)
- Housing and Construction
- Transportation and Logistics
- Institutions of Higher Education Faculty/Staff
- Information Technology & Communication
- Legal Services
- Public Safety (including engineers)
- Other Public Health Workers
- Barbers, Stylists, Hairdressers
In many places in Virginia, food service workers are also included in Phase 1c, but Richmond and Henrico Health Districts already included food service workers in Phase 1b eligibility. All 1a and 1b populations previously eligible for vaccination in Richmond and Henrico will remain eligible as we begin to vaccinate 1c populations.
Anyone who is eligible in Phase 1c who has not pre-registered for the vaccine should go to vaccinate.virginia.gov and pre-register right away. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will pull pre-registration information from the Vaccinate Virginia website and contact you through email (or phone if you don’t have an email) with next steps to schedule an appointment at one of our vaccination events or a partnering provider. All Richmond and Henrico residents should take whichever vaccination appointment is offered to them first—whether through the Health District, a primary care provider, pharmacy, or one of our other partners.
Since Phase 1c contains relatively few people compared with Phases 1b and Phase 2, we expect that we will be moving on to Phase 2 in a matter of weeks! Richmond and Henrico Health Districts have been eagerly awaiting the moment when we can finally offer the vaccine to the general public. We appreciate the patience many of you have shown as you have waited for your turn to be vaccinated, and we are so thrilled that the wait is nearly over!
Why did we decide to move on to Phase 1c
Richmond and Henrico Health Districts currently are able to supply vaccines to many pharmacies, clinics, and primary care providers throughout our region as well as offer appointments through our own mass vaccination events, Community Hubs, and pop-up clinics. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will continue to prioritize vaccination for individuals in Phases 1a and 1b who have pre-registered through Vaccinate Virginia and offer available appointments to any pre-registered person in these groups first. However, our current number of doses can accommodate additional appointments, so we anticipate offering openings for people who qualify for Phase 1c.
How will vaccine appointments be prioritized now that more people are eligible?
The chart below shows what percentage of doses will be allocated by Richmond and Henrico Health Districts to each priority group as of April 1st. These percentages will shift as more vaccinations are completed in groups that became eligible sooner and more vaccine doses become available.
We currently have enough vaccine supply to offer appointments to residents in Phases 1a, 1b, and 1c without further prioritization. However, if vaccine supply is temporarily limited in the future, state and local health departments will further prioritize vaccination to ensure residents with the greatest risk are cared for first. If supply is limited, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and our partners will review a number of factors to ensure that those who are most likely to become severely ill if infected, live in communities where the burden of infection is greatest, or face other significant barriers to equitable care have priority access to the vaccine. Prioritization factors will include (as relevant):
- Age (older residents will be vaccinated sooner)
- Race and ethnicity (Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian or Alaska Native residents will receive priority)
- Burden of disease (infection, hospitalization, and death rates) in the area where a person lives
- Social Vulnerability Index Score (SVI) of the area where a person lives
- Level of work-based exposure
When can people in Phase 2 get the vaccine?
In line with President Biden and Governor Northam’s goals, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will move into Phase 2 before May 1st. Phase 2 includes all people ages 16 and older who were not already eligible in an earlier phase. Anyone who has pre-registered to receive the vaccine through vaccinate.virginia.gov will be invited to schedule an appointment in the days and weeks after Phase 2 opens. If you want to receive the vaccine, pre-register now (even if you are not yet eligible!).
How will we accommodate so many people seeking the vaccine once Phase 2 is open?
Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are partnering with a rich network of providers across our region who will offer the vaccine to their patients as well as the broader community. Providers will include pharmacies, primary care providers, urgent care centers, and safety net clinics.
The growing number of community providers will make it possible for Richmond and Henrico Health Districts to focus on our most vulnerable communities where residents may have limited access to the technology or transportation they need to register for and receive the vaccine. We will continue to partner with faith-based communities to stand up Community Hub sites as well as additional pop-up vaccination clinics as needed.
We will also continue to hold large-scale events at the Richmond Raceway for the broader public, which will ensure space for thousands of vaccination appointments per week on average.
As the number of providers and eligible residents increases, our registration process will also change. In the coming weeks, updated registration tools will launch that will make it possible for anyone who wants the vaccine to make an appointment directly with pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. without waiting for a call or email from the health department. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will also create a link on our website where any eligible person can schedule an appointment at one of our Raceway events.
Additionally, we will continue to conduct ongoing targeted outreach to priority communities and assist them with scheduling vaccination appointments. As we move into vaccinating the general public, RHHD will focus a portion of our vaccine allotment and operational capacity on vaccinating individuals in Phase 1a, Phase 1b, Phase 1c, and those who have less access to vaccination or disproportionate COVID-19 burden.
How do I get vaccinated?
Anyone interested in receiving a vaccination should fill out the pre-registration form at vaccinate.virginia.gov. Any person, even those who are not in Phases 1a, 1b, or 1c is eligible to pre-register. If you have already pre-registered, you can visit the Vaccinate Virginia site anytime to confirm your status.
If you or someone you know is unable to pre-register through the Vaccinate Virginia website, call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682) and a representative can help you through the process. Help is available in English and Spanish, with callback options in 100 other languages.
Eligible individuals will receive their vaccination by appointment only through one of the following pathways:
- Large, small, and mobile RHHD vaccination events hosted across the region
- Safety net clinics like Capital Area Health Network, Crossover, Health Brigade, and Daily Planet Health Services
- Urgent care providers, like Patient First
- Health Systems, like Bon Secours Richmond, HCA, and VCU Health System
- Primary Care Providers in certain communities
- Local pharmacies, like Hope, Westwood, and Bremo pharmacies
- Retail pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens
- Community Hubs operated in partnership with faith-based communities.