Pittsylvania-Danville Health District shares update on vaccination efforts


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DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Pittsylvania/Danville Health District — through a partnership with Sovah Health-Danville, the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County, and Averett University — is set to conduct a vaccination clinic on Saturday for certain members of the community.

According to officials, the closed “point of dispensing” (POD) COVID-19 vaccination clinic is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Averett University E. Stuart James Grant North Campus. However, all appointments have already been filled.

“Registration for this event was prioritized for people and communities at highest risk of contracting COVID-19, and of experiencing more serious effects of illness, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices,” said Dr. Scott J. Spillmann, health director for the Pittsylvania/Danville and Southside Health Districts. “We have completed the registration process and look forward to providing vaccines to a thousand of our families, friends and neighbors on Saturday. And we are planning other vaccination events as quickly as possible.”

Fear not, because health officials say Saturday’s POD is the first in an expected series of large vaccination events in Danville and Pittsylvania County. This clinic is also part of collaborative and ongoing efforts to vaccinate individuals categorized under Phase 1a and Phase 1b who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as those most critical to healthcare, public safety, and other essential roles that keep society running and reduce the extra burden of the pandemic on people already facing disparities.

As of Thursday, Jan. 21, VDH says almost 1,600 vaccines have been administered in Danville and more than 800 have been administered in Pittsylvania County.

In order to pre-register for a future POD, call the Danville Health Department at (434) 766-9828 or the Pittsylvania County Health Department at (434) 432-7232, but you are asked to be patient as employees handle the large call volume.

However, health officials warn that pre-registering does not guarantee a vaccine or an appointment. Instead, it allows VDH to contact you at a later time in order to schedule your appointment when the vaccine is available.

According to the VDH, vaccine demand is high and supplies are limited, which means it may be weeks before you are contacted. Furthermore, you are asked not to pre-register multiple times, or email or call to check your status because that will slow down the process for everyone.

“We will have a small army of vaccinators and support staff on Saturday to provide Moderna vaccine to those who pre-registered,” said Dr. Spillmann. “This vaccine requires two doses at least 28 days apart; so we are planning a follow up clinic at Averett next month for second doses, and will continue to offer additional clinics and work with our partners to vaccinate as many Virginians as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Everyone who attends the POD is asked to wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, wear clothes that offer easy access to your upper arm, arrive at your appointed time, and bring your driver’s license or other documentation confirming your age.

Health officials say they will have safely distanced waiting areas both before and after vaccination, as well as more private vaccination areas for those with special needs.

“We continue to need volunteers to support our vaccination efforts, particularly those who are certified to give vaccines,” Dr. Spillmann continued. “Through the Medical Reserve Corps, anyone can volunteer to provide medical and non-medical support to help our communities recover from this pandemic.”

To learn more about the Medical Reserve Corps, click here.

“We ask for your patience and vigilance during this crucial time, so that we can provide protection to our most vulnerable community members,” Dr. Spillmann concluded. “If you have concerns for your health and vaccine, please consult your healthcare provider first.”

For more information on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Virginia, follow this link.

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