Press Releases

EASIER COVID-19 VACCINE REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR SENIORS

MARCH 17, 2021

Cat Long

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov 

804-363-0933

 

EASIER COVID-19 VACCINE REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR SENIORS

 

RICHMOND, VA – Seniors ages 65 and older who live in Richmond City or Henrico County no longer have to wait for an email or phone call to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. Seniors can now call the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts’ COVID-19 hotline (804-205-3501) M-Fr, 8:00am-5:00pm to schedule an appointment directly. 

This change in registration process was established after Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) called or emailed nearly every senior who pre-registered for a COVID-19 vaccine. RHHD are now opening up phone lines to make the process easier for seniors in our area who have not yet received their COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We’ve heard from frustrated seniors who have missed our calls that it’s not sustainable for them to live their lives right next to their telephone,” explains Amy Popovich, Nurse Manager at RHHD. “We’re hopeful that cutting out some steps in the registration process helps us vaccinate more seniors and makes the process easier for everyone.”

Although the hotline is staffed in the evenings and on weekends to answer general questions, seniors must call during business hours (M-Fr, 8:00am-5:00pm) to schedule their appointment. 

Anyone interested in a COVID-19 vaccine who is not a senior should pre-register by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA and wait until they are contacted for an appointment. Due to limited staff capacity and vaccine supply, only seniors ages 65 and older can schedule an appointment on demand. 

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RCHD and HCHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

 

RCHD Website  |  HCHD Website  |   RCHD Facebook  |  HCHD Facebook  |  RCHD Instagram  |  RCHD Twitter  

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Press Release Archives

PUSH TO GET COVID-19 VACCINES TO RICHMOND AND HENRICO SENIORS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- MARCH 3, 2021

Cat Long

RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov 

804-363-0933

 

PUSH TO GET COVID-19 VACCINES TO RICHMOND AND HENRICO SENIORS

 

RICHMOND, VA – Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and Henrico County are holding large-scale vaccination events on March 6th, 8th, and 10th (Sa, M, and W) for pre-registered seniors. We are expecting to vaccinate up to 12,000 seniors at these three events. 

Pfizer vaccines will be offered on March 6th and 10th and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered on March 8th. Like the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective. All three vaccines are extremely effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

“It is more important now than ever for pre-registered Richmond and Henrico seniors to check their email and answer their phone,” says Amy Popovich. “This event will vaccinate the majority of the seniors on our pre-registration list.” 

Many seniors who provided email addresses will be contacted today through Friday. Emails will come from the CDC’s VAMS with the domain @envelope.mail.vams.cdc.gov. We recommend seniors check their email one to three times per day today through Friday. Seniors should look in all their email folders (including spam, promotions, etc) for the e-mail. Directions to register will be included in the email.

Seniors, particularly those who did not leave an email address when they pre-registered, may also be called. Calls will be made this week between March 3rd-5th (W-Fr) from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. The calls will come from a variety of numbers and may be listed as a “spam call” on your phone. We are not leaving messages or taking callbacks, but will reach out to seniors multiple times. 

To avoid a scam, seniors should:

  • Make sure the e-mail comes from the domain @envelope.mail.vams.cdc.gov before clicking on any links
  • Hang up the phone or delete the e-mail if they are asked for any form of payment, social security number, or insurance ID numbers

Individuals interested in receiving a vaccine should fill out a pre-registration form at vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA if they have not done so already. Seniors not contacted this weekend can expect to be contacted for similar events in the coming weeks.

To get in contact with the health districts, please call 804-205-3501 M-Fr from 8:00 am-5:00 pm or e-mail RHHDvax@vdh.virginia.gov.

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RCHD and HCHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

 

RCHD Website  |  HCHD Website  |   RCHD Facebook  |  HCHD Facebook  |  RCHD Instagram  |  RCHD Twitter  

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7,000 RICHMOND AREA SENIORS TO RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINES THIS WEEKEND

 

Cat Long FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- JAN 28, 2021

RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov

804-363-0933

 

7,000 RICHMOND AREA SENIORS TO RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINES THIS WEEKEND

 

RICHMOND, VA – Richmond area seniors are eligible to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at one of three senior specific events happening January 29th-31st (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). About 7,000 qualified individuals who have filled out interest forms will be contacted to make an appointment at one of these events. The events are put on by Henrico County, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, Chesterfield Health District, and Chickahominy Health District and will supplement each local health district’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Many eligible seniors who filled out an interest form will be contacted to register for an appointment. We strongly recommend seniors who filled out a form check their e-mail and answer their phone. Schedulers will work through the interest form lists; seniors will receive one e-mail and two phone calls before the scheduler moves on to the next person. Directions in the e-mail must be completed by the deadline listed. Due to the high volume of registrations, we are unable to accept calls back from seniors, so it is important they answer the phone. Phone calls will be made between 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m. until all appointments are filled.

“Seniors are such a vital part of our community and they’ve gone through such hardship this pandemic,” says Nurse Manager at RHHD Amy Popovich, “we’re grateful for this opportunity to serve them.”

Tom Franck, MD, Director of Chickahominy Health District agrees: “Our elderly communities are among the most vulnerable in terms of risk once they contract COVID-19. This vaccine opportunity promises to bring hope and encouragement to many people.”

In alignment with Governor Northam’s announcement on January 27th that a portion of health systems’ vaccine supply are to be redistributed to local health districts for vaccination of priority populations, VCU Health System donated vaccines to this effort. The generosity of the health system will supplement existing local health district vaccine supplies to vaccinate the elderly population—who make up more than 75% of Virginia’s COVID-19 related deaths—this weekend.

“We understand the significance this partnership across health systems and the local health districts will play for our senior adults,” explains Alexander Samuel, MD, Director of Chesterfield Health District. “We are taking the responsibility of vaccinating this community very seriously.”

Senior events will feature adjustments to make the events more accessible—a limited option to have a vaccine come to your car, shorter walking distances, additional staff to increase the time spent with each patient, and more. The events will predominantly serve adults aged 75+.

“In addition to offering our communities this life-saving resource, we’ve also heard that the experience has been good overall,” notes Henrico County Emergency Manager Jackson Baynard. “We want to create a comfortable and safe environment for our seniors.”

All qualifying individuals who are interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine should fill out the appropriate interest form or call for assistance.

 

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RHHD LAUNCH NEW PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS TO VACCINATE PHASE 1B

Cat Long                                                                                                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- JAN 15, 2020

RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov 

804-363-0933

 

RHHD Launch New Programs and Partnerships to Vaccinate Phase 1b

 

RICHMOND, VA – Governor Northam announced on Thursday, January 14th that individuals who are aged 65+ or have comorbidities will qualify to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1b in Virginia. In response, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) are expanding vaccination programming to begin offering vaccination opportunities to all of Phase 1b individuals by the end of January. Vaccinations of people aged 65 or older and the first three groups of Phase 1b frontline essential workers (specifically: 1. Police, Fire, and Hazmat, 2. Corrections and homeless shelter workers, 3. Childcare/K-12 Teachers/Staff) will begin on Monday, January 18th. Remaining frontline essential workers and individuals with comorbidities in Richmond and Henrico will be offered the opportunity for vaccination later this month. 

Thus far, RHHD has distributed about 36,000 vaccines for Phase 1a populations through a combination of vaccination events and distributing vaccines to other healthcare providers. Consistent with vaccine supply availability, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will implement vaccination programming to serve priority Phase 1b populations (listed below) in addition to continuing Phase 1a efforts. As programming and partnerships expand, RHHD will update this list and include the rest of the Phase 1b populations, meeting the Commonwealth-wide goal of offering all Phase 1b vaccinations by the end of January.

  • Adults aged 65+: RHHD will open its on-going vaccination events to adults aged 65+ in the coming weeks. Our Phase 1b interest form is now accessible to those who are aged 65+. RHHD is also coordinating additional venues for adults aged 65+ to get vaccinated through primary care providers and pharmacies. Large primary care providers in our area, including the safety net providers, are receiving shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate their existing 65+ year old patient populations. These providers will reach out to their patients directly. This program will expand and more providers will become eligible to administer vaccines to their qualified patients. Additionally, RHHD has developed partnerships with small and large pharmacy chains to offer storefront vaccinations to adults aged 65+. We will share more details on pharmacy partnerships next week.
  • Police, Fire, and Hazmat (Phase 1b, Group 1): Three large-scale regional events planned by Henrico County, RHHD, Chickahominy Health District, and Chesterfield Health District will vaccinate police, fire, and hazmat next week. 
  • Corrections and homeless shelter workers & residents (Phase 1b, Group 2): RHHD is starting a mobile vaccination clinic that will travel to correctional facilities to vaccinate staff and residents who desire to get their first dose. We have also coordinated with our partners at Daily Planet Health Services to administer vaccines to homeless shelters staff and residents. These programs are expected to launch by the end of January, if not sooner.
  • Childcare / PreK-12 Teachers / Staff (Phase 1b, Group 3): Employees of public school systems in Richmond, Henrico, Chickahominy, and Chesterfield will be able to register for next week’s large-scale regional vaccination events and are receiving directions from their employers now.

 

Consistent with the Governor’s goals, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts will begin opening up their Phase 1b vaccination process to people aged 16–64 with comorbidities and frontline essential workers in Phase 1b Groups 4–9 by the end of January. Access to vaccination will depend on the available supply of the vaccine.

The programming listed above greatly expands the vaccination capacity for not only Richmond and Henrico but for the region and lays the groundwork for continued opportunities for everyone who wants a vaccine to get one. Of these expanded efforts, Dr. Melissa Viray, Acting Director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, said “Our teams are working diligently to expand accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines, especially for those who are most severely affected or are facing direct exposure to this disease.”

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RCHD and HCHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

 

RCHD Website  |  HCHD Website  |   RCHD Facebook  |  HCHD Facebook  |  RCHD Instagram  |  RCHD Twitter  

 

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Richmond Area Health Districts to Begin Phase 1b Vaccinating

Virginia Department of Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                    January 13, 2021

Media Contact:
Brookie Crawford, public information officer, Central Region, brookie.crawford@vdh.virginia.gov

 

Richmond Area Health Districts to Begin Phase 1b Vaccinating

(RICHMOND, Va.)  — The local health districts of the Richmond Metropolitan Area (Chesterfield, Chickahominy, Henrico, and Richmond) will begin expanding their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to include some Phase 1b frontline essential workers on Monday, January 18. Specifically, workers in the first three categories of Phase 1b, will now be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccines will be administered through a combination of regional mass vaccination events, as well as partnerships with various providers. Vaccination of Phase 1a populations will continue as the region opens up to Phase 1b.

“We know that the burden of this disease and the underlying social vulnerabilities that put these essential workers at risk do not end at the boundaries of our city and counties,” said Dr. Melissa Viray, Acting Director for Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. “It makes the most sense to coordinate our vaccination efforts and make sure all of our communities have access to the best tool we have to end the pandemic.”

The first three categories of Phase 1b frontline essential workers include:

1)    Police, Fire, and Hazmat

2)    Corrections and homeless shelter workers

3)    Childcare/PreK-12 Teachers/Staff

Individuals in these categories will start to have the opportunity to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at one of three large-scale regional vaccination clinics beginning next week.

“Many school teachers and staff in our jurisdictions have courageously shown up for in-person instruction throughout this pandemic in order to serve their students’ needs and to provide the best education possible. This vaccine offers a shield of protection and a beacon of hope for this group of essential workers,” says Dr. Tom Franck, Director of Chickahominy Health District.

Next week’s COVID-19 vaccination events are taking place in addition to each local health districts’ ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts for qualified individuals. Metro area districts are exploring ways to move deeper into the 1b vaccine eligible group as additional resources become available to distribute vaccine more broadly.

“VDH is continuing to work with pharmacies, hospital systems, and medical practices to establish the infrastructure to more quickly and effectively distribute available resources and vaccinate others who are part of 1b and beyond,” says Dr. Alex Samuel, Director of Chesterfield Health District.

This step is only the beginning of the Phase 1b vaccination process; other populations that qualify for vaccines in Phase 1b will be offered COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks. Health districts will continue to prioritize future phases of vaccination using VDH guidelines, with an emphasis on those who cannot perform their work remotely and have increased exposure risk interfacing with the public or in close proximity to coworkers.

If you live or work in Richmond City or Henrico County and think you may qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1a or Phase 1b, please visit vax.rchd.com to fill out a COVID-19 interest form. Call 804-205-3501 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) if you need assistance.

For all other local health districts, please take this simple online eligibility tool or call the VDH COVID Hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3. Local health districts’ emails and hotlines are below, but due to the high volume of calls and messages, their ability to reply quickly will vary.

 

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Media contacts:

Richmond and Henrico Health District: Cat Long, 804-363-0933, RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov

Chickahominy Health District: Caitlin Hodge, 804-382-6592, Caitlin.Hodge@vdh.virginia.gov

Chesterfield Health District: Ginell Ampey, 804-751-4358, Ginell.Ampey@vdh.virginia.gov

RHHD OPENS COVID VACCINE INTEREST FORM TO 1A HEALTHCARE WORKERS

JAN 12,2021 UPDATE: The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts anticipate moving into Phase 1b of vaccine distribution in January 2021.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- JAN 5, 2021

Cat Long
RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov
804-363-0933

RHHD OPENS COVID VACCINE INTEREST FORM TO 1A HEALTHCARE WORKERS

 

RICHMOND, VA – Richmond and Henrico Health Districts have created an online interest form that will help all eligible medical providers receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The form can be filled out by an employer of healthcare workers on behalf of their staff or by individuals who meet the qualifications. The form can be accessed at vax.rchd.com.

“We are following CDC and Virginia Department of Health’s guidance to vaccinate healthcare personnel as part of the first priority group because we rely on healthcare to diagnose and care for individuals with COVID-19 and because, by its very nature, their work may place them at greater risk of infection,” says Deputy Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Districts Dr. Melissa Viray. “This includes not just those working in hospitals, but also healthcare workers in the community. We need to make sure those individuals have access to vaccines, and this intake form can help make sure healthcare workers out in the community are able to receive the vaccine as soon as possible.”

Eligible healthcare providers who complete this form will be notified when there is a COVID-19 vaccine appointment available to them. They will be enrolled in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), the online appointment scheduling tool created by the Centers for Disease Control. 

The Phase 1a group for COVID-19 vaccination includes: 

  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • Healthcare personnel who engage directly in the care of or have contact with patients who with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19; 
  • Healthcare personnel who interact with patients who are known to be at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection or severe illness from COVID-19 infection (EMS, dialysis, residential care, etc.) 
  • Other healthcare employees whose work requires them to spend time in a clinical setting. 

To date, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts have distributed 3,070 doses (out of the 3,600 we have received) to individuals in Phase 1a. More than 14,300 Richmond and Henrico 1a eligible residents have been vaccinated through their employers, pharmacies enrolled in the CDC’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care, and Richmond and Henrico Health Districts. 

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts anticipate moving into Phase 1b of vaccine distribution in February. Phase 1b includes any person over the age of 75 and other frontline essential workers beyond the healthcare field including grocery store employees, police officers, firefighters, public transit workers, and people who work in the education sector (both teachers and support staff). 

Anyone with questions about the COVID vaccine should contact the Richmond and Henrico COVID hotline at (804) 205-3501 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm or email RHHDvax@vdh.virginia.gov

Individuals outside of Richmond and Henrico should contact their local districts:

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RCHD and HCHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

RCHD Website  |  HCHD Website  |   RCHD Facebook  |  HCHD Facebook  |  RCHD Instagram  |  RCHD Twitter  

 

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LARGE DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 TESTING EVENT OFFERS TESTS AFTER HOLIDAYS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- DEC 27, 2020

Cat Long
RHHDpr@vdh.virginia.gov
804-363-0933

 

LARGE DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 TESTING EVENT OFFERS TESTS AFTER HOLIDAYS

 

RICHMOND, VA – Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are holding a drive-thru testing event at The Diamond (3001 N Arthur Ashe Blvd) on 12/29 (Tu) from 12:00PM-2:00PM. The event is open to the public. The health districts have 400 tests available at the event.

Following Christmas, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts planned a large-scale testing event to accommodate an increase in demand after traveling and gathering for the holidays. 

“Historically, we’ve seen an increase in demand for COVID testing after a holiday,” explains Lanier Olsson, Community Testing Manager. “Folks think back on their time with families and start to wonder if it was the safest option. People want to know their status and we encourage that.”

Registration is preferred, walk-ups are welcome. Call 804-205-3501 to register.

About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RCHD and HCHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.

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RICHMOND REGION HEALTH DISTRICTS RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINE SHIPMENT

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- DEC 22, 2020

 

RICHMOND REGION HEALTH DISTRICTS RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINE SHIPMENT

 

RICHMOND, VA – Area health districts, including Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, Chickahominy Health District, and Chesterfield Health District have been preparing for this moment for some time. Following the FDA’s Emergency Use Approval of Moderna vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Moderna vaccines were quickly shipped to local health departments, pharmacies, and healthcare systems across the country. Virginia health districts are among these first recipients of Moderna vaccines.  

Internal staff involved in future vaccination events and clinics, as well as community members within Phase 1a are expected to be some of the first vaccinated with Moderna vaccines this week. Phase 1a includes healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents and staff. Focusing on these two populations ensures a stable force of healthcare and public health workers to continue to treat COVID-19 populations and mitigate spread. It also offers protection to some populations most vulnerable to severe symptoms or death as a result of COVID-19.

VDH anticipates Virginia will receive 370,650 vaccines total by the end of the year. Local health districts will offer closed vaccination events and clinics into the new year, moving through the various populations identified in the phased distribution plans established by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and VDH. By spring/summer 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be widely available for the community.

You can learn more about the vaccine, its safety and answers to frequently asked questions at VDH’s website and CDC’s website

Despite the good news about vaccines becoming available to various populations in the coming months, it is important to remain vigilant in COVID-19 prevention practices. Continue taking steps to protect yourself and others, such as covering your mouth and nose with a mask, washing hands often, and staying at least six feet away from others.

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