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Feb 19

City Manager's Message Feb. 19: Update on 2nd COVID vaccine dose

Posted on February 19, 2021 at 4:27 PM by Don Mann

I hope everyone is having a great month, despite the ongoing challenges brought about by COVID and now the horrible weather. The time continues to pass so quickly, and I find myself realizing that I did not have the annual Spirit Day around the Super Bowl. We will make up for that and have a Spirit Day some time soon. I welcome any ideas for themes you would like me to consider.

Today, I am writing to give you some updates on our COVID vaccination efforts. As you know, we were able to provide all eligible employees who wanted to take the COVID vaccine the opportunity to do so. Our workforce vaccination effort began 28 days ago today which means we are now in our 2nd dose administration phase.

Some of you have asked about the scheduling of these 2nd doses, and wondered why the appointments have not already been done. We were able to get the doses for our workforce through a redistribution agreement in which doses that hospital systems were holding for 2nd shots were released to get more first dose shots in the arms of eligible Virginians. The state assured hospitals and localities then that they would account for 2nd doses and provide them within the allowable efficacy period. We could not schedule appointments without a confirmed date of delivery.

Now that we are in the second dose window, we are getting updates on how and when these will be scheduled. VDH has moved from a paper registration to an electronic system, and we cannot start to schedule appointments until each clinic is established in the online system and we are given the registration access code.

Ideally, the second Moderna dose will be given on the 28th day after the first dose, and that was/is our intent. In fact, our first set of second doses was given today on schedule. We received the VDH online registration access two days in advance of today’s clinic and registered everyone in time for their dose today. 

We were originally making plans for 2nd dose clinics next Tuesday (Feb. 23), Thursday (Feb. 25) and Friday (Feb. 26), which would have aligned with the first dose schedule. However, the extreme winter storms across the country have impacted vaccine delivery. (I am attaching a VDH press release that describes this further if you are interested in more detail.) At this point, we have been told to plan that the Tuesday and Thursday 2nd dose clinics will be merged and provided on Feb. 25. This is, unfortunately, still subject to change until the vaccine delivery actually occurs.

As soon as VDH opens registration, we will be reaching out to staff to schedule 2nd doses. Unfortunately, scheduling may occur with short notice. We appreciate your patience as this is a fluid situation and we must all remain flexible.  Please rest assured that the current CDC guidance is that second doses can be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose. Therefore, the slight delays caused by weather are not problematic. Our intent is to administer your 2nd dose as close to the 28th day as realistically possible, based on when the state sends the vaccine to the local district.

Your 2nd doses will be administered by our wonderful EMS-School Nurse vaccinator team. I again want to thank them, as well as all of our wonderful support staff that have made these vaccine clinics possible. Many of you have remarked about what a positive experience you had. I trust you will have the same wonderful experience your second go-around. Our Hampton team has really knocked the vaccination effort out of the park with the exemplary performance!

I am staying positive that the weather will improve soon and that the supplies of vaccine will start to come into the state and the region. In the meantime, please continue to stay safe, warm and dry!

— Mary


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