Provided by Prince William County
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam released the priority groups for Phase 1b and Phase 1c.
For an in-depth look at Virginia’s Phase 1b click here. vdh.virginia.gov/content/uplo,ads/sites/191/2021/01/Phase-1b-In-Depth.pdf
For an in-depth look at Virginia’s Phase 1c, click here. vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/191/2021/01/Phase-1c-In-Depth.pdf
Currently, the Prince William Health District (PWHD) is transitioning into Phase 1b. The Health District will continue vaccinating those in Phase 1a. In addition, starting on Jan. 25, the health district will give the required second dose to those vaccine recipients who are due for their second dose of Moderna vaccine.
Individuals that are 75 and older are invited to fill out a brief survey. This survey will assist the health district in contacting those who fall within this group. The link to the survey is now accessible here. Once the PWHD has a list of individuals 75 years old and older, it will be upload into the electronic scheduling system that will instruct them how to schedule an appointment.
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 as well. 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 receive vaccinations.
Priority groups listed in Phase 1b and Phase 1c that are part of an employer (school staff, grocery store workers, postal workers, etc.) cannot 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 is 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 for effectiveness. The health district is only offering the Moderna vaccine. 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 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. Of utmost importance is prioritizing the groups, and that is based on the Virginia Unified Command recommendations supported by the governor.
Partnership with George Mason University
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, Jan. 19, the PWHD will administer 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 have been vaccinated.
This massive undertaking to vaccinate the greater public requires a community effort.
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 to expand vaccination sites throughout our community. Larger spaces for health district partners will mean more opportunities for the community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.