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Virginia rolls out new vaccination sign-up platform

Virginia rolls out new vaccination sign-up platform

Beginning Tuesday, the state has launched a new, centralized website for all Virginia residents to pre-register for vaccines.

As of Tuesday morning, nearly 7,700 Orange County residents had received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 1,489 fully vaccinated.

According to health district officials, those who have already registered under the previous health district survey will automatically be transferred to the new system.

According to Rappahannock Rapidan Health District population health coordinator, April Achter, MPH, those already in the vaccination queue will maintain their place in line. The new system also will allow those registered to search the system to ensure their name is included. However, she noted, the system is unable to provide a“number” or place in the queue.

Those in the district who haven’t yet registered to receive the vaccine through the RRHD survey can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to pre-register. The RRHD survey is no longer active.

For businesses, the change will not affect those who have completed worker surveys for the Phase 1A/1B essential worker survey. RRHD will continue to manage vaccines for essential personnel, Achter said.

“The latest knowledge as of Feb. 12 is that Virginia is not likely to meet the demand for Phase 1b until March or April,” Achter said. “There are not enough doses available for everyone who is eligible to receive a vaccine. It may be weeks or longer before vaccination appointments become available for those who have pre-registered. Please remember that we are working through the list as quickly as we can with the number of vaccine doses available to us.”

Daily COVID-19 case counts in Orange County remain fairly consistent, with 79 cases reported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) since last Tuesday.

Thus far in February, there have been 245 new virus cases in February, with the seven-day rolling average declining from 20 a week ago to 11.

Meanwhile, Orange County residents continue to receive vaccines at a brisk clip. Approximately 20% of the county’s nearly 38,000 residents have received at least one vaccine, outpacing others within the health district (based on rate per 100,000 residents, 20,682). Recent pop-up clinics in Madison have helped close the vaccine gap there (where 2,087 residents have received at least one shot and 384 are fully vaccinated). Madison’s rate per 100,000 (15,738) trails only Orange, followed by Culpeper, Rappahannock and Fauquier in the health district. Nearby Greene County, in the Blue Ridge Health District, has kept pace with Orange residents in receiving vaccines.

“I can only hypothesize regarding why Orange County has a higher vaccination rate,” Achter said. “I suspect the proximity to Fredericksburg and Charlottesville medical facilities may mean that the county had a large number of residents eligible for vaccine under Phase 1a (as healthcare workers). In addition, Orange Family Practice has partnered with VDH and the county to assist with our vaccination efforts. These factors may partially explain the difference.”

Those with questions about the vaccine or the new registration process can call the new Virginia call center hotline at 877-275-8343. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with staff available to help those who don’t have computers or have difficulty using them. Language translation is available.

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