State health officials say 91,000 more Virginians will be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by this time next week when they receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson doses. 8,000 of them are set for a mass clinic this weekend in Roanoke, and they will go primarily to Phase 1b recipients ages 18-64 with underlying health conditions who have preregistered with the Virginia Department of Health. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:
NEWS RELEASE: (ROANOKE, VA) — The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) and Carilion Clinic will hold an 8,000-dose COVID-19 clinic using Johnson & Johnson vaccine, expanding appointments to more eligible Phase 1b residents this weekend, March 6-7. To support one of our region’s largest vaccination efforts to date, the Commonwealth has also dispatched 26 members from the Virginia National Guard to support logistical efforts.
“The goal of this event is to vaccinate 8,000 individuals currently eligible under the Phase 1b guidelines,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, health director of Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts. “This clinic will offer a crucial kick-off to reach a substantial number of all those eligible under Phase 1b who have expressed interest in being vaccinated. While we intend to continue to target vaccination appointments to those over the age of 65, the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine means that we have enough doses to expand appointment opportunities to an even larger segment of the RCAHD community.”
This clinic will primarily be targeted to Phase 1b-eligible RCAHD residents between the ages of 18-64 with an underlying medical condition. An email will be sent later this week to qualifying individuals who have signed up through the state website with more details inviting them to make an appointment, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. More clinics will be added in the future as supplies continue to increase.
“We’re excited to partner with VDH to offer expanded vaccine access,” said Chad Alvarez, senior director of Carilion Retail Pharmacy and the leader of Carilion’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. “While there’s still a long way to go, this is an important next step to get vaccines into the arms of everyone in our community.”
All people interested in receiving vaccine in the state of Virginia are encouraged to sign up on the pre-registration site at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 1-877-VAX-IN-VA. All citizens are strongly urged to pre-register even if they are not currently eligible to receive vaccine now. With the expansion of doses coming in to the area, we may more quickly have supplies available to expand to additional populations. After pre-registering through the state site, individuals will be contacted when it is their turn to receive vaccine.