The original item was published from January 11, 2021 9:49 AM to January 15, 2021 9:13 AM
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced
that Loudoun County will enter Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts on Monday, January 11, 2021. Loudoun County is working with its community partners—which include pharmacies, health care systems, schools and employers—to help people in Phase 1b know from whom they will receive vaccine, how to make an appointment to receive a vaccine, and where to go to get vaccinated. The community is working together to begin vaccinating people eligible in Phase 1b of the commonwealth’s phased vaccination plan as soon as possible, and continues to enroll and vaccinate people in Phase 1a (health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities).
“We know that our essential workers and older adults are eager to get vaccinated, and we are eager to facilitate vaccination for as many people as possible in the weeks ahead,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “Right now, we are asking those who are next in line to get vaccinated—those in Phase 1b—to contact their employer or the Health Department for information about how to receive vaccine.”
Who is Eligible in Phase 1b?
Phase 1b includes essential front-line workers who are defined as essential to the functioning of society and are at higher risk of exposure to the virus. In addition, because there currently is not a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1b at the same time, the Health Department will reach out to members of the 1b group in the following order, which is required by VDH:
- Police, fire and hazmat workers
- Corrections and homeless shelter workers
- Child care/K-12 teachers/staff
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- Mail carriers (USPS and private)
- Officials needed to maintain continuity of government
People aged 75 and over are also included in Phase 1b because they are at higher risk of serious illness should they contract COVID-19. This older adult population is prioritized to receive vaccine at the same time as the front-line workers listed above. As supplies of vaccine increase, an overlap of vaccination of people in the 1b group will occur to ensure the group is vaccinated as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
The Health Department is coordinating special vaccination events for law enforcement, fire and hazmat, corrections and homeless shelter workers, and public schools employees. There will be no need for individuals working in these sectors to contact the Health Department to schedule appointments.
Where Will I Get the Vaccine?
Right now, because supply of COVID-19 vaccine is limited, the Health Department will be coordinating vaccination opportunities during the initial expansion into Phase 1b. Initially, the Loudoun County Health Department will be coordinating or providing these vaccinations. As we move forward, vaccine will become increasingly available through people’s health care providers and local pharmacies and as a result, Loudoun County ultimately will not be the primary provider of COVID-19 vaccine.
VDH has indicated that as of January 6, 2021, more than 2,000 providers in Virginia have already signed up to distribute COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, Loudoun County will host vaccination events as needed. Loudoun County will announce when each phase of the vaccination process will begin, as well as provide information about vaccination opportunities offered by the county.
The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available. Vaccine supply in the United States is still very limited. Currently the federal government is allocating about 110,000 doses of vaccine to Virginia a week and Loudoun County is receiving a portion of the available vaccine. The amount of vaccine available in the United States will depend on the capabilities of the manufacturers to produce the vaccine safely and is expected to increase later gradually over the next months. Following the vaccination of people in the priority Phases 1a, 1b and 1c, vaccination opportunities will be expanded to include everyone else in the general population.
How to Sign Up for a COVID-19 Vaccine
Many members of the Phase 1a and 1b priority group may be enrolled for vaccination by their employers; this is the most efficient way of getting signed up for vaccinations. Employers, members of the 1a and 1b groups who have not been contacted by their employers, and residents over the age of 75, may receive guidance about the vaccination process by contacting the Loudoun County Health Department in one of two ways:
- Send an email, which is the most efficient way to contact the Health Department. You must include your full name, email, organization (if applicable) and basis for inclusion in Phase 1a or 1b for your request to move forward;
- If you do not have access to email, you may call Loudoun County’s COVID-19 information line at 703-737-8300 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Sign Up to Receive Alerts
Additional information about the ongoing vaccination efforts will be published as it becomes available. To stay informed about when it is your turn to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, residents should sign up to receive text or email updates about COVID-19 from Loudoun County:
Stay Vigilant in Slowing the Spread of COVID-19
Before and after Loudoun residents receive a COVID-19 vaccine, everyone is encouraged to continue taking the steps that help prevent the spread of the disease, including washing hands frequently, wearing face coverings, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings of people and staying home when sick. Learn more about COVID-19 prevention and care on the county’s website.
For more information about COIVD-19 vaccination efforts in Loudoun County, visit loudoun.gov/COVID19vaccine.
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