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Health district announces expanding vaccination pool

Health district announces expanding vaccination pool

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Late last week, the Virginia Department of Health’s Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District announced it would begin to vaccinate persons in Phase 2 Monday, April 5, while continuing to vaccinate anyone in Phases 1A, 1B, and 1C who registers to receive it.

While vaccine supply is increasing, it remains limited. Health officials encouraged residents in the district to be patient as they continue to reach out to the most at-risk and underserved, while offering vaccines to each person who desires it as soon as possible.

Phase 2 is very straightforward: all persons age 16 and older (for Pfizer vaccine) and 18 and older (for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. All phases are identified in detail at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

“We are excited to be expanding vaccination opportunities to the majority of our population,” said Dr. Colin Greene, acting director of the Rappahannnock-Rapidan Health District. “Please understand that we will still book the elderly and most at-risk first. Everyone who lives or works in Virginia is encouraged to enroll on the state pre-registration list, to facilitate setting up a vaccine appointment.”

Vaccines are available by pre-registration and appointment. To pre-register, or to update your pre-registration record, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available, in more than 100 languages. For TTY, dial 7-1-1.

Health officials remind those scheduled to receive vaccines to arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to their scheduled time and be prepared to show proof of appointment or identification.

No walk-ins are permitted. Only those with scheduled vaccinations are admitted to the vaccination site.

As of Monday morning, 17,663 Orange County residents (46%) had received at least one vaccination, with 6,603 (17%) fully vaccinated. Statewide, 33% of Virginia’s residents have received at least one vaccination and 18% are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, local new COVID-19 cases continue to decrease, with 25 reported in the last week. Orange County’s hospitalization (83) and death (35) totals have remained the same since March 23.

Still health district officials encourage local residents to continue masking and social distancing outside their households.

We will reach a point later this year when enough people are vaccinated where these actions are no longer necessary, but we’re not there yet, so please continue to watch your 3Ws: Wear your mask, Watch your distance, and Wash your hands,” Dr. Greene added.

For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

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