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Richmonders excited for Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccinations: 'Light at the end of the tunnel'

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Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 13:05:47-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some people who have been waiting months for a COVID-19 vaccine are now eligible and eager for a return to normalcy.

The Richmond and Henrico Health District, the Chesterfield Health District and the Chickahominy Health District announced Friday they will start scheduling Phase 2 eligible people for their COVID-19 vaccine appointments for as soon as next week. That means vaccines will be open to people in metro Richmond 16 and over who want one.

"I'm anxious and nervous, but excited," explained 28-year-old Richmond resident Morgan Whaley who's in that group.

Whaley moved back home to Richmond from New York because she's able to work remotely. She says she was notified to sign up for her vaccine appointment recently and gets her first dose Friday afternoon.

“We have small children in our family, so we also feel like we can keep them safe, which is really great," Whaley explained.

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Richmond Raceway Vaccination Clinic

Preregister for the COVID-19 vaccine on the Vaccinate Virginia website or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-275-8343)

While these health districts are moving to Phase 2, they say they’ll still be prioritizing those in Phase 1, like Margaret Gerry who’s in Phase 1C and is signed up for a Johnson and Johnson shot Friday.

"When I was notified to get it, I danced in my house and was really excited about it," she noted.

Gerry says she knows she’s one of the lucky ones.

“I have friends who are checking everyday," Gerry said. "They’re looking at these websites that update them about vaccine availability."

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Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Response as of Friday, April 9, 2021.

VACCINATING VIRGINIA: COVID-19 Vaccine Phase by Health District

If you’re now eligible but are still on the fence about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, health officials want you to know it's safe and effective.

"It’s not just you, it’s other people you have to be concerned about," Whaley noted. "So do it for everyone you love.”

The Richmond-Henrico Health District says appointment scheduling will continue over the coming weeks for everyone who has pre-registered, so if you haven’t heard anything yet, don’t panic. They say your turn is coming soon.

If you've not already pre-registered, you can do so at vaccinate.virgininia.gov or you can call 877-VAX-IN-VA.

The Chesterfield Health District includes Chesterfield and Powhatan counties as well as the City of Colonial Heights. The Chickahominy Health District includes Hanover, New Kent, Goochland and Charles City counties.