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Central Shenandoah Health District works to expand vaccination capacity as it moves to Phase 1b

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 11:31 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Central Shenandoah Health District announced on Jan. 18 it is moving into Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Laura Lee Wight, the PIO for CSHD, said the district’s health care partnerships are going to be crucial in getting the shots out faster to people around the Valley.

The CSHD is working with health care providers, like hospitals, primary care providers, federally qualified health centers, and almost a dozen local and retail pharmacies.

Wight said it is a process to find partners that can assist, receive vaccines, and then onboard them. While vaccines are limited now, she said as they become more available, distribution will be easier because distribution partners are already onboarded and prepared.

“We’ll probably be vaccinating Phase 1b groups into early spring when we open up to Phase 1c, so the different phases are definitely flexible, and as I said, right now we’re still vaccinating some people in Phase 1a,” Wight said.

The CSHD has accepted medical and non-medical volunteers to help with the COVID-19 vaccination process. Wight said people can still apply through the Medical Reserve Corps, here.

If you are eligible in Phase 1b, Wight said to email the health district, fill out a form and they will let you know when it is your turn.

If you are 65 years and older and would like to sign up to receive a vaccine when they become available, email cshdinfo@vdh.virginia.gov. For employer/organization requests to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, please email cshd_esf8@vdh.virginia.gov.

Many in the CSHD may not have reliable access to the internet, so Wight said those individuals should first reach out to their primary care provider to see if they plan to administer the vaccine.

“At the local health district level, we are working to ramp up different vaccine opportunities for individuals who may not be able to sign up via email or online portal and may just need to use a phone to call and set up an appointment,” Wight said. “We are currently not taking appointments over the phone right now. We don’t have that capacity.”

If you have a health care advocate, like a family member, friend, or caregiver, they can go ahead and reach out to the CSHD on your behalf.

For more COVID-19 information from the Central Shenandoah Health District, click here, or get daily updates from their Facebook page.

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