Area health districts, including Richmond, Henrico, Chickahominy, 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 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.
According to VDH, 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.