New River Health District moves into Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccination

Coronavirus

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The nation is poised to get a third vaccine against COVID-19, but health officials are concerned that at first glance the Johnson & Johnson shot may not be seen as equal to other options from Pfizer and Moderna. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — On Thursday afternoon, Virginia health officials announced the New River Health District would begin providing COVID-19 vaccines to those in Phase 2 of vaccination, effective immediately.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Phase 2 means that everyone ages 16 and older who lives or works in the New River Health District — which includes the City of Radford and the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski — will be eligible to receive the vaccine as of Thursday, April 8.

However, during the transition period, the VDH says the district is initially targeting college students before it fully opens to Phase 2 next week.

“We continue to vaccinate people in Phases 1a and 1b,” said Dr. Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Health District. “We have reached out to all who were registered and to major employee groups in those phases. We are at the point where we have openings in the schedule and can move to the next phase.”

According to the department, the New River Health District will continue to use the Everbridge automated scheduling system and the Vaccine Scheduling Center at (540) 838-8222 to make vaccine appointments.

“You still need to make an appointment to receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Bissell, “as vaccine demand continues to be greater than our supply.”

Health officials say online links will be added to the website as soon as possible to allow individuals to schedule appointments.

“This will allow us to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Dr. Bissell added.

However, the VDH included the following rules for people who want to sign up to receive a vaccine in the New River Health District.

  • Those in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 or who have another illness with a fever are not eligible to be vaccinated until these conditions are resolved.
  • Those who have had the coronavirus and received monoclonal antibodies or plasma treatment are not allowed to receive a vaccine until 90 days after treatment.
  • Those who have had a vaccine within the last 14 days should wait to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine until 14 days have passed since their other vaccination.

To check out the latest vaccine information, New River Valley residents are encouraged to visit www.NRVRoadtoWellness.com. For general COVID-19 questions, though, call (540) 267-8240.

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