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Central Shenandoah Health District administering Phase 1a vaccines, prepares for 1b

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 10:48 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 11:57 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Many people are hoping to get their COVID-19 vaccine soon. The rollout continues in Virginia under different phases, but most of the Shenandoah Valley is still in Phase 1a, which includes health care workers and long-term care facility residents.

As of Jan. 11, eleven health districts in Virginia began administering 1B vaccinations. One of those being the Lord Fairfax Health District, which serves Page and Shenandoah counties.

According to health officials, Phase 1b will begin in the Central Shenandoah Health District soon.

“It definitely doesn’t mean that we don’t have vaccine availability. It’s more so we have to get through our Phase 1a group as much as we can before we move to Phase 1b,” Laura Lee Wight, with the Central Shenandoah Health District, said. “We’re going to see some overlap. There’s going to be some flexibility in starting Phase 1B while we’re finishing up 1A and that’s to be expected.”

She said there are several reasons why the district is still in Phase 1a, but the leading factors include community partners and a higher population.

“As the vaccine supply increases and as we are able to get more health care providers and other community partners onboarded to help us increase the community capacity to vaccination, then we’re going to see more availability,” Wight said. “We are working with our health care systems, our health care partners, pharmacies, as well as federally qualified health centers.”

Wight said the health district is preparing for increased demand for the 1b vaccine because it covers a larger group of people. It includes school staff, people ages 65 and older, and those in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps.

“With the schools, the school nurses might be able to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to the staff and that helps us in really increasing our vaccination capacity within our community,” Wight said. “This is a big lift vaccinating our entire population.”

Wight said some counties and cities may move forward in the vaccination process faster than others, but you can get the latest updates on their Facebook page.

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