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RHHD expands vaccine access: 'We're really excited about this change'

Vaccine access expanded
Posted at 5:12 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 19:25:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- As Virginia gets closer to herd immunity, signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine in Richmond and Henrico just got easier.

"We're really excited about this change," Amy Popovich, a nurse manager with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts said. "This means that the vaccine is accessible for anyone over the age of 16."

Popovich said that the two health districts have gotten rid of pre-registration for vaccination clinics, something that is possible after everyone on their pre-registration list is contacted at least once.

"Our Henrico County and Health District call center team called over 10,000 individuals last week to ensure that everyone on our pre-registration list has given that been given that opportunity," Popovich said.

She said that people can register for an appointment by visiting their website or calling 804-205-3501.

"This week, even before the link went public, we had all of our appointments about 75% filled," Popovich said. "Next week is about 50% filled and then a little bit less than 20% that third week.

Popovich said that at this time, no appointments are scheduled with
the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She said RHHD had about 2,000 doses before the federal government recommended a pause to investigate a rare but serious blood clot tied to the vaccine.

The pause on the J&J vaccine was lifted last Friday and Popovich said that they will likely resume administering the vaccine next week.

"We will ensure that any future clinics for Johnson and Johnson are clearly labeled to make sure individuals know what vaccine will be available to them," Popovich said. "And we will continue to follow CDC guidelines."

The Crater Health District said they have no immediate plans to start reusing J&J vaccines, while a source tells CBS 6 that the health district will make a decision Tuesday. The Chesterfield Health District has not shared its plans to resume J&J vaccines at this time.

Popovich is urging anyone who missed their second appointment for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine to contact RHHD for help.

"Even if you did not get your first dose at one of our health district events, we want to help you get that second dose," Popovich said. "So please call us we'll help you schedule that."

"We really want to ensure that everyone has gotten both of those vaccines so that we can all reach that herd immunity," Popovich said.

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Mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Richmond Raceway.

Virginians age 16+ now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine. Register on the Vaccinate Virginia website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343). You can search for specific vaccines as well as which are available near you via the Vaccine Finder website.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
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What you can and should not do once you have been fully vaccinated.

How to Protect Yourself and Others When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions—like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces—in public places until we know more.

These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.

Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Health.