VDH News Release: West Piedmont Health District Offers COVID-19 Vaccination to Those in Phases 1A and 1B

February 19, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          February 19, 2021

Media Contact: Nancy Bell, WPHD PIO, nancy.bell@vdh.virginia.gov

WEST PIEDMONT HEALTH DISTRICT OFFERS COVID-19 VACCINATION TO THOSE IN PHASES 1A AND 1B

-- Saturday event is full; additional opportunities planned very soon --

(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health’s West Piedmont Health District, in cooperation with Sovah Health-Martinsville, Henry County Public Safety, Harvest Foundation and Martinsville Speedway, will conduct a drive-thru closed “point of dispensing” (POD) COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, February 20 at the Martinsville Speedway.  All available appointments scheduled for this event are full.

“Registration for this event was prioritized for people and communities at highest risk of contracting COVID-19, and of experiencing more serious effects of illness, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” said Nancy Bell, Population Health Manager and PIO, West Piedmont Health District. “Working directly with community leaders, we have completed the registration process and look forward to providing vaccines to our families, friends and neighbors on Saturday. We are planning other vaccination events as quickly as possible based on supply.”

Saturday’s POD is the fifth in a series of community vaccination events being planned in Martinsville and Henry County. Collaborative and ongoing efforts are under way to vaccinate those in Phases 1a and 1b who are most at risk of falling ill with COVID-19, and most critical to healthcare, public safety and the essential functions of society and to reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.

Those eligible for vaccine in Phases 1a and 1b can pre-register at VDH’s new consolidated website at www.vaccinate.virginia.gov. Or call the state’s new COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-877-VAX-IN-VA. English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available, in more than 100 languages.

Those that pre-registered previously at one of VDH’s local portals will automatically be merged into the new database. It is not necessary to register again. You can check and confirm your status at www.vaccinate.virginia.gov.

Pre-registering DOES NOT RESERVE A VACCINE OR CREATE AN APPOINTMENT but it collects contact information, so that when vaccine is available, VDH can contact you to make an appointment.

Friends and family members may also pre-register for those with limited or no computer resources. ONLINE PRE-REGISTRATION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

“Vaccine demand is extraordinarily high and supplies remain significantly limited,” said Bell. “Please be patient. The purpose of the portal is to get contact information for those ready and willing to get their vaccine, so that when a new clinic is open, we can quickly notify them to make an appointment. It will be a two-step process.”

ONCE YOU ARE PRE-REGISTERED, PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL TO CHECK YOUR STATUS. You will be able to confirm your registration at the www.vax.virginia.gov site. Then, you will be contacted as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Please do not pre-register multiple times or leave multiple messages. Doing so will delay or prevent others from getting a vaccine.

We ask that everyone who attends the POD continue to follow the three Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance (stay at least six feet apart) and Wash your hands. We will have parking areas for waiting at safe distances both before and after vaccination. We ask all who are to be vaccinated to please wear “vaccine ready” clothing to the extent feasible (with easy access to your upper arm) and that you arrive at your appointed time and bring your driver’s license or other documentation confirming your age.

“We ask for your patience and vigilance during this crucial time, so that we can provide protection to our most vulnerable community members,” Bell concluded. “If you have concerns for your health and vaccine, please consult your healthcare provider first.”

For more information on COVID-19 and vaccination, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

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