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Virginia Health Department Vaccine FAQ
Where will I go to get the vaccine?
Local health departments, pharmacies, healthcare systems, and employer-based occupational health units are working together to vaccinate frontline essential workers. Frontline essential workers may be most likely to receive the vaccine through employer-based vaccination clinics. Others will get it through their local health department or through arrangements with pharmacies and healthcare providers.
Information will be coming out from local health departments, employers, and healthcare providers about how and when you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine. The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available.
For the latest information about VDH’s COVID-19 vaccination plans, please visit the Virginia Health Department's Vaccination Response site.
Additional may be directed to the call center at 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343).
How do healthcare providers and other healthcare personnel get vaccinated?
Healthcare systems and local health departments are working collaboratively to vaccinate healthcare personnel in Phase 1a. The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccine available.
HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS are vaccinating their staff. Many are vaccinating non-health system staff as well.
LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS are compiling lists of healthcare providers who are not affiliated with a hospital or health system and are reaching out to those groups as quickly as possible.
Learn more about Phase 1a.
What is an essential worker? How do I know when I can get the vaccine based on my job?
While the supply is limited, COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to specific groups of people over a number of phases. Virginia plans to vaccinate groups of people in the following phases:
Phase 1a is for healthcare personnel, and long-term care facility residents.
Phase 1b includes frontline essential workers, people aged 75 and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps.
Phase 1c includes additional groups of essential workers, people aged 64 and older, and people ages 16-64 years of age with certain conditions or disabilities that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
For the latest information about VDH’s COVID-19 vaccination plans, please visit: Virginia Health Department's Vaccination Response site.
How can people 75 years and older access the COVID-19 vaccine?
Many of the people who are included in Phase 1b because of their age will be offered the vaccine through their healthcare provider. Others in this category will be able to access vaccination through their local health department or through arrangements with healthcare systems and pharmacies. Learn more about Phase 1b.
I have a medical condition that makes me at higher risk for COVID-19. When can I get the vaccine?
Phase 1c includes people older than 16 who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-
19. Many of the people who are included in Phase 1b because of their age will be offered the vaccine through their healthcare provider. Others in this category will be able to access vaccination through their local health department or through arrangements with healthcare systems and pharmacies. Information will be coming out from local health departments and healthcare providers about how and when people in Phase 1c can receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Learn more about Phase 1c.
My parent or loved one lives in a long-term care facility. Will they get the vaccine soon?
Residents and staff within long-term care facilities are in phase 1a of vaccine allocation. In Virginia, most LTCF residents and staff will be vaccinated by CVS and Walgreens teams through the Federal LTCF Pharmacy Partnership program. A small number of facilities that were not included in the program will work with their local health districts to ensure vaccination of their staff and residents.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine be free or will it go through insurance?
The vaccine will be offered to all Americans at no cost. Any fees will be covered either by insurance companies or by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration Provider Relief Fund. You will not have any out-of-pocket costs.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is being developed and tested the same way as every other vaccine used in the United States. Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines have gone through a careful trial process with several phases. For every vaccine in the United States (including COVID-19), trials start with Phases 1 and 2, when small groups of people are vaccinated and then monitored. In Phase 3, tens of thousands of people are vaccinated to be sure the vaccine is both safe and effective for all types of
people. After a vaccine is authorized or approved, it enters Phase 4, where long-term effects are studied. These trials, which include people at high risk for COVID-19, will help identify any common side effects or other safety concerns and will help clarify how long protection lasts after vaccination.
What are the side effects of current COVID-19 vaccines?
While we do not yet know all of the possible side effects of the vaccine, some of the people in studies have had arm pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache or other body aches, or fever for a few days. These side effects are also experienced after receiving other types of vaccines, such as the flu shot.
These side effects do not mean that the vaccine has given you COVID-19. Rather, this means that the vaccine is causing your body’s immune system to react and create antibodies to fight off the virus in the future.
Download and print the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ.