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* Hampton City News

Posted on: April 13, 2021

General public can now register for vaccine; hold put on J&J vaccine pending study

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April 13, 2021 - People who live or work on the Peninsula can now schedule their Covid-19 vaccination directlyThe Virginia Department of Health’s Hampton and Peninsula Health Districts officially opened the door to anyone 16 and older beginning Wednesday.

Also, the state followed federal guidance released today by putting a hold on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until a study into a potential rare side effect is completed. Clinics scheduled for that vaccine will either offer a different vaccine or be rescheduled. People who have appointments are being contacted.

Appointments are still available for vaccinations this week at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. The Pfizer vaccine will be given Thursday instead of the previously scheduled Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for 16- and 17-year-olds. 

Available in Newport News at Christopher Newport University:

Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula, the regional team that includes the Health Department, area medical systems and the governments of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County, is coordinating local efforts to share resources to maximize the number of people who can get vaccinated. 

To find a vaccination site go to https://vaccinefinder.org/search/ and enter the zip code. Available clinics within 25 miles will display. Each display has a link that will allow an individual to schedule. Pre-registration is no longer required. The six localities, each health system and the health districts will also display scheduling links on their websites.

Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-year olds. Those 18 and older are able to get either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made in vaccinations in our community and look forward to expanding the vaccination opportunities to the general population,” said Dr. Natasha Dwamena, health director for both districts. “We will continue ongoing outreach efforts to provide access to the vulnerable populations in our communities that may still remain unregistered but want to be vaccinated.” The region is moving forward to the general population a few days ahead of the state's April 18 time frame.

Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula released a statement noting, "We are closely monitoring the actions by the federal government to pause all Johnson & Johnson vaccinations while it investigates an extremely rare possible side effect. In Virginia, we will cease all Johnson & Johnson vaccines until this investigation is complete. ...

"This pause is reassuring in that it demonstrates that the systems that are in place to monitor vaccine safety are working. We look forward to a thorough review by federal health officials. Meantime, we will continue Virginia’s vaccine rollout at this time with the other two authorized vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna."

Vaccine supply is increasing and the health districts and all partners in Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula are devoting every available resource in the effort to vaccinate anyone wanting it. 

Please follow these guidelines at the vaccination site:

Please plan to arrive no earlier than 10 minutes prior to your appointment time. Too many people arriving too early causes backups.

Appointments are required at all locations for COVID-19 vaccination in our area. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please pre-register to be contacted for an appointment.

Remember to continue masking and social distancing outside your household and wash your hands.

For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/ or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682).

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