COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
The most up to date figures on Virginia’s vaccination progress can be found here.
Many regularly asked questions are best answered here.
For answers directly from the experts, please watch my Town Hall Meeting with Senator Barbara Favola, Arlington Health Director Dr. Reuben Varghese, and Virginia Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula.
Why do I need two shots?
Two shots are generally needed to provide the best protection against COVID-19 and that the shots are given several weeks apart. The first shot primes the immune system, helping it recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response.
How is Virginia Distributing the Vaccine?
Nationwide distribution of any COVID-19 vaccine is a joint effort between the CDC and the U.S. Department of Defense. VDH continues to sign up Virginia healthcare providers who want to provide the COVID-19 vaccine. These providers include hospitals, long-term care facilities, local health departments, pharmacies, health systems, outpatient centers and urgent care centers. There are currently two vaccine manufacturers with different storage requirements and vaccine dosing schedules. Vaccine providers are being trained to correctly store, administer, and document these vaccines. As of earlier this week, distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines will go only to local health districts, and not from the Virginia Department of Health. This means distribution of doses is locality/geography-based rather than health system-based. The primary reason for the sudden change was 1) Virginia is only receiving 110,000 doses per week for the whole state and 2) in a span of just two weeks, all of Virginia moved into Phase 1b. The phases allow the prioritization of those most vulnerable to exposure or death. Each phase is explained on the Virginia Department of Health’s website.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The cost of the actual vaccine is covered by the federal government. Providers can bill insurance for administrative costs for dispensing the vaccine; this cost cannot be passed onto the person receiving vaccine.
How do I get the vaccine?
To get the vaccine, check your local health department website or call to make sure you are eligible in the current phase. When eligible, you can register there. Once the vaccine is available, you will be contacted to make an appointment. photo identification is not required for vaccination. It is important, however, to have some way to confirm your identity (i.e. name, date of birth) so they can confirm that they are vaccinating the right person. Additionally, proof of a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is not needed.
How to get vaccinated in the 30th District