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BRHD enters phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, all individuals 16 and up eligible

The BRHD will be sending email invitations where individuals can schedule vaccine appointments in their area

<p>U.Va. Health began to send University students appointment invitations Monday.</p>

U.Va. Health began to send University students appointment invitations Monday.

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The Blue Ridge Health District officially entered phase 2 of vaccine distribution Monday, which includes all individuals 16 years and older. Individuals in the BRHD eligible under phase 2 should be receiving email invitations throughout the week where they can schedule appointments via the Vaccine Administration Management System. Roughly 45,000 people became eligible under this expansion, according to BRHD Deputy Public Information Officer Jason Elliott.

The district serves 250,000 people throughout Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson Counties and the City of Charlottesville. All of Virginia will officially transition to phase 2 on April 18, per a request from Gov. Ralph Northam.

The BRHD moved into phase 1c — which included essential workers in 13 different sectors, including faculty and staff of higher education institutions — April 1, expanding eligibility to 7,000 community members. Individuals in any phase 1 group are encouraged to use VaccineFinder to find COVID-19 vaccines in pharmacies in their area. 

In a briefing held Monday, BRHD Health Director Dr. Denise Bonds provided an update on vaccine allocation in the district. 

The BRHD will receive fixed allotments of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine in the coming weeks — 3,330 first doses and 800 second doses of Moderna will be provided and 5,850 first doses and 1,170 second doses of Pfizer will be given. An additional 5,850 first doses and 2,340 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allocated to the U.Va. Health Seminole Square Community Vaccination Site. 

The district will not receive any more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week because of a “marked decrease” in allotment from the VDH. Individuals who have signed up for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can choose to receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine instead. 

“U.Va. did receive a bolus of J&J from both [the BRHD] and the state to work toward vaccinating college students … Universities still have the option of doing the two-dose regimen with either Pfizer and Moderna,” Bonds said, regarding the shortage. “We know that a large number of the cases in our health district were actually among U.Va. students, so this is a really good public health measure to get those students vaccinated.” 

As of Monday, 110,587 individuals in the BRHD have received the first dose of the vaccine, about 57 percent of the district. 63,939 people in the district are fully vaccinated. 

“I’m cautiously optimistic that everybody should be able to get their first shot who wants it certainly by the end of May,” Bonds said. 

The University announced Friday that U.Va. Health would be scheduling vaccine appointments for all University students through personalized email invitations throughout the week. Vaccines provided through U.Va. Health will be administered at the COVID Community Vaccination Center in the Seminole Square Shopping Center and transportation will be provided to students scheduling appointments the weekend of April 17 and 18.

Students who sign up to get vaccinated through the University’s email appointment system will be receiving either the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, though they will not get to choose which they receive.

Individuals in the BRHD are encouraged to visit blueridgecovid.org for more information and commonly asked questions. 

This article has been updated to include the number of people in the BRHD who became eligible through phase 2.

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