Close to 150 K Vaccinated With First Dose For Covid 19
By Linda Farneth
As of January 8 the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported that 148,909 people have received “at least” the first dose of the Covid 19 vaccines.
Yesterday alone 3,164 new doses of the vaccine were reportedly given.
As of January 8 the VDH reports that 6,848 people in Virginia are fully vaccinated.
Because some vaccines will be in one dose and some in two the reporting will be done in the above fashion to help keep count of how many people have been fully or partially vaccinated.
A total of 481,550 doses of the vaccine have been distributed to Virginia clinics and health facilities. This included both first and second doses as well as single doses.
The VDH reminds citizens: “Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is sometimes a two-step process. A person will get one shot, or dose, of the vaccine. After 3-4 weeks, a person will need to get a second dose of the vaccine. Getting both doses of the vaccine is important. This will help the vaccine protect people from getting COVID-19 or becoming as sick if they do get COVID-19.”
As of Friday 76 full vaccines have been administered in Westmoreland County and 75 in King George.
The VDH reports that the initial supplies of vaccine are limited. For this reason Virginia has begun a phased approach to administer the vaccines.
The VDH reports that in accordance with CDC guidelines, healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities in Virginia will be vaccinated first.
Do I have to get the shot? How and where can I get the shot?
Some people are asking if it will be mandatory in Virginia to be vaccinated and others are asking where and when they can be vaccinated.
To answer the first question the VDH website addresses this in their Frequently Asked Questions:
QUESTION: Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required for all Virginians? Will we be penalized if we decide not to take the vaccine?
ANSWER: “The vaccine will not be required for Virginians and there are no legal penalties for refusing it, but we urge you to get it once it’s available. Once enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19, we can resume more of the everyday activities we enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic.”
To answer the question concerning when and where residents can receive the vaccine we will look at how the VDH plans to administer the vaccine now that doses have become available in our state.
Virginia has released guidelines the VDH plans to follow in accordance with CDC guidelines for the order of distribution for the Covid 19 vaccination which currently includes 3 phases.
Here is a summary of the people included in each of the phase 1 groups. For more specific descriptions and order of sub grouped inoculations click on the links in each description.
Phase 1a will began with vaccinating healthcare professionals and residents of long term care facilities.
Phase 1b will inoculate; front-line essential workers, people age 75 and older as well as people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps. (includes police, fire and hazmat, grocery store workers, manufacturing and mail carriers just to name a few)
Phase 1c will include; other essential workers, people age 65 to 74, people age 16 to 64 with high risk medical conditions or disabilities that puts them at greater risk of severe illness from Covid 19. (includes waste removal, food service workers and media just to name a few)
Since Covid 19 vaccines are so new, there is no way to tell the exact longevity of the immunity provided by the vaccines. It is also too early to tell if being vaccinated keeps you from spreading the virus if you come in contact with it. The VDH does however say there is no chance of catching the virus from the vaccine but you can still catch the virus from exposure to it while the body works to build up immunity. So it is advised that people who are vaccinated still continue to practice social distancing, follow hygiene protocols and wear a mask around others.
More information concerning the vaccines can be found at the VDH website.