~ Press release issued by Valley Health
WINCHESTER, Jan. 29 — Despite a fluctuating supply of available COVID-19 vaccine, Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District, Virginia Department of Health are currently vaccinating more individuals, per capita, than any other district in the Commonwealth.
With the availability of additional vaccine earlier this week, Valley Health anticipates administering another 10,000 first doses by Feb. 1.
Virginia Department of Health data reported on January 26, breaks down vaccination rates by jurisdiction:
• Winchester — 6,737 vaccinations with a rate of 23,994 per 100,000;
• Frederick County — 5,637 vaccinations at a rate of 6,312 (per 100K);
• Shenandoah County — 4,621 vaccinations at a rate of 10,595 (per 100K);
• Warren County — 3,223 vaccinations at a rate of 8,025 (per 100K);
• Page County — 2,503 vaccinations at a rate of 10,472 (per 100K);
• Clarke County — 1,812 vaccinations at a rate of 12,395 (per 100K).
“We’re excited to be providing this remarkably safe and effective vaccine to the community, following defined phases of priority based on risk. Vaccinating those most at risk first is the most effective way to save lives,” said Jeffrey Feit, MD, Valley Health Population and Community Health Officer.
“Valley Health expanded from vaccinating healthcare workers in December to opening community vaccination sites in Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock and Luray by mid-January,” Feit continued. “We are doing our best to get shots in arms efficiently and comfortably throughout our service area, thanks to longstanding, strong relationships with our public health colleagues and community partners, especially staffing the largest site at Shenandoah University.”
“Resilience and collaboration have been key for us over the last year as we’ve worked together and adapted to safely manage COVID-19 patient care,” said Nicolas Restrepo, MD, Valley Health Quality and Patient Safety Officer. “It’s also been instrumental as we’ve navigated the community vaccination process, in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health. Our vaccine supply remains unpredictable and our volunteer community has come together to staff clinics on short notice to guarantee we can get vaccines distributed as quickly as possible. We are grateful to all our staff and our community of volunteers for being part of this moment in history.”
Valley Health is currently vaccinating high risk individuals in Tier 1A and 1B – including individuals 65-plus and essential workers including police, fire, hazmat and corrections workers, homeless shelter workers and childcare/K-12 teachers and staff.
A statewide vaccination registration platform allows individuals to reserve a time slot for their vaccination at one of four sites:
• James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University, Winchester, in collaboration with Shenandoah University;
• Warren County Health Department Auditorium, Front Royal;
• Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Woodstock;
• Luray VFW, Luray.
Time slots for each day open at noon the day before and fill very quickly. To register or learn more, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations or click on the FAQ link.
Valley Health recently established a call line to assist those without Internet access or a family member or friend to help them use the web-based registration site. Call 888-441-5294. A limited number of appointments can be made for those without Internet access, and call volumes are heavy.
Please note — individuals may not be able to get the vaccine if they:
• Are currently having COVID-19 symptoms;
• Have had any other vaccine(s) in the last 14 days
• Have had a severe allergic reaction that required medical intervention;
• Are allergic to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This has been an intense process, with a steep learning curve, and we feel privileged to serve our community in this way,” Feit noted. “We’re incredibly proud of how our team has taken on these challenges at a time when our hospitals were experiencing their highest COVID-19 patient census to date.”
To see the summary of vaccinations and their distribution across the state see: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-summary/.