Virginia Department of Health

(DANVILLE, Va.)  -- The Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside health districts are working to ensure the vaccination of the prioritized groups as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and adopted by Virginia Disaster Medical Advisory Committee and the Vaccine Advisory Workgroup.

In December 2020, Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside health districts began offering closed “point of dispensing” (POD) COVID-19 vaccination clinics specifically for “Phase 1a” priority groups. Phase 1a is the first group eligible to receive the vaccine, and include health system personnel with direct contact or a high risk of contact with COVID-positive patients. Phase 1a also includes long-term care residents and staff that are being vaccinated through a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens.

At this time, two COVID-19 vaccines, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and recommended by CDC. Currently, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) expects to receive approximately 100,000 doses per week, 50,000 of each vaccine.

As availability of the vaccine increases, Virginia will move to the other phases. An exact timeline is not yet known. Phase 1b will include frontline essential workers, people age 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps. Phase 1c will include other essential workers, people age 65 and older, people 16 and older with underlying medical conditions. The complete definition of Phase 1b and Phase 1c are available on the VDH Vaccine Page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

Virginians who do not fall into priority categories will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine when it is more widely available. Once the vaccine is rolled out to the general public, distribution will be similar to the flu vaccine. People will be able to get the vaccine from a local pharmacy, primary care physician, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)/free clinic, local health department or other clinic that is participating as a COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider.

The public will be able to see who is eligible and what phase Virginia is in at any given time at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. Keeping an eye on our website and visiting VDH’s FAQs (www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-faq/) is the best way to stay up to date on this information.

In the meantime, 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.