ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The first COVID-19 vaccines reached the Roanoke Valley area this week as Carilion Clinic received its first shipment from Pfizer Tuesday morning.
According to the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, new vaccines will be arriving on a weekly basis, with enough to cover the first priority group by the end of the month.
“If that’s not the case, then we will prioritize those with the most risky exposure including those who work directly on COVID-19 floors for instance, and the priority list works down from there,” said Dr. Paul R. Skolnik, the Chair of Medicine for Carilion Clinic.
The main hospitals in the area — Carilion Clinic and LewisGale — are set to receive the vaccines first, according to the Health Director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, once healthcare workers working within the hospitals and patients at long term care facilities are vaccinated.
According to experts with Carilion, side effects are expected.
“Yes it has side effects, but those are manageable,” Dr. Skolnik said. “For 10 to 24 hours after vaccine administration they can include fever, muscle aches, those sorts of things, arm pain.”
Experts say if you get the first dose, you should get the second between 17 and 21 days. However, if you miss the window, you should still get the second dose.
You won’t have the full protection until about a week past the second dose.
In addition, if you’re within 90 days of getting COVID-19, you can also wait.
Community members are advised not to take the coronavirus vaccine 14 days before or after the flu vaccine or any others.
According to Carilion health experts, anyone age 16 and up can receive the vaccine. However, pregnant women, those with allergies to injectable vaccines, and those with compromised immune systems are encouraged to consult a physician first.
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