John A. Budesky, County Administrator, presented to the Board of Supervisors on January 13 a plan to expand and create new Hanover County COVID-19 vaccine clinics. The new clinic(s) would have the goal of providing COVID-19 vaccinations to 1,000 additional people a day, in collaboration with the Chickahominy Health District and other regional vaccine initiatives. Details of the plan, including a location or locations, needs to be finalized, but Budesky envisioned the clinic continuing “until every resident who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine, or until there is sufficient availability in the marketplace.”
Budesky said Hanover Fire/EMS, in coordination with the Chickahominy Health District’s COVID-19 Response Team, would manage the plan, supported by a vaccine project team made up of County employees. He estimated about 10 employees will need to be dedicated to the task over a period of about 90+ days. Hanover would also participate in regional vaccine initiatives.
Hanover also will provide support to the Chickahominy Health District, which began administering vaccinations to first responders and healthcare professionals on January 5, 2021. Additionally, Hanover will support the health district by establishing a vaccine call center for residents to get more information on the COVID-19 vaccine or to register for future vaccination clinics.
Next steps include site selection for the vaccination clinic, developing partnerships, and sharing the vaccination call center information as well as providing regular updates on vaccine progress to the public.
The Hanover County COVID-19 vaccination plan will follow the Virginia Department of Health’s vaccination schedule. Central Virginia is currently vaccinating those in Phase 1a. Phase 1a includes healthcare personnel and residents/staff of long-term care facilities. Virginia’s Phase 1b includes many types of frontline essential workers; people aged 75 years and older; and those in correctional facilities. The Chickahominy Health District is partnering with other Richmond Area health districts to begin vaccination clinics for the first three categories of essential workers in 1b starting next week, including K-12 teachers/staff. The following phase, Phase 1c, includes other essential workers; those aged 65 and older; and those aged 16 and over with underlying medical conditions.
Dr. Thomas Franck, Director of the Chickahominy Health District, which includes Hanover County, also presented to the Board of Supervisors on January 13. Dr. Franck said 2,846 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given to Hanover County residents since the vaccination program began.
Hanover County is working hard to expedite the process for senior residents, especially those ages 75 and older. Vaccines for residents of nursing homes are being handled separately. More information about the Hanover County COVID-19 vaccination plan, including registration, will be released soon. In the meantime, residents can use the following link to find out which phase they are in and sign-up for alerts: https://vdh.jebbit.com/amkwk6m1?L=Owned+Web&JC=Vaccine
“Next week we will hold several large vaccination events,” Dr. Franck told the Board, as well as partnering on large-scale regional events. He expressed appreciation for everyone’s patience as we continue the vaccine rollout.
Board members told Dr. Franck and Budesky they hope residents can soon have a way to register for the vaccinations and have an idea of when the events will take place, which is driving the County plan.