Law enforcement and grocery store workers in Loudoun County are among the next group of people expected to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
On Monday, Loudoun County entered Phase 1b of the vaccination process and is working with its community partners — including pharmacies, health care systems, schools and employers — to help people in Phase 1b know from whom they will receive a vaccine, how to make an appointment to receive a vaccine, and where to go to get vaccinated.
County officials said community partners are working together to begin vaccinating people eligible in Phase 1b. At the same time, they are continuing to enroll and vaccinate people in Phase 1a, including health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
“We know that our essential workers and older adults are eager to get vaccinated, and we are eager to facilitate vaccination for as many people as possible in the weeks ahead,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend in a prepared statement. “Right now, we are asking those who are next in line to get vaccinated — those in Phase 1b — to contact their employer or the Health Department for information about how to receive vaccine.”
Phase 1b includes front-line workers who are defined as essential to the functioning of society and are at higher risk of exposure to the virus, according to county officials.
In addition, because there currently is not a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1b at the same time, the health department will reach out to members of the 1b group in the following order, as required by the Virginia Department of Health:
- Police, fire and hazmat workers
- Corrections and homeless shelter workers
- Child care/K-12 teachers/staff
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- Mail carriers (USPS and private)
- Officials needed to maintain continuity of government
People aged 75 and over are also included in Phase 1b because they are at higher risk of serious illness should they contract COVID-19. As supplies of the vaccine increase, the vaccination of people in the 1b group will begin to overlap to ensure the group is vaccinated as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Where will I get the vaccine?
Right now, because supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine are limited, the Loudoun County Health Department will be coordinating vaccination opportunities during the expansion into Phase 1b. Initially, the health department will be coordinating or providing the vaccinations.
As the vaccine becomes increasingly available through health care providers and pharmacies, Loudoun County will not be the primary provider of COVID-19 vaccines.
VDH has indicated that as of Jan. 6, more than 2,000 providers in Virginia have already signed up to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, Loudoun County will host vaccination events as needed. The county will announce when each phase of the vaccination process will begin, as well as provide information about vaccination opportunities offered by the county.
The ability to schedule appointments will depend on the supply of vaccines. Vaccine supply in the United States is still very limited. Currently the federal government is allocating about 110,000 doses of vaccines to Virginia each week, and Loudoun County is receiving a portion of the allocation.
Following the vaccination of people in the priority Phases 1a, 1b and 1c, vaccination opportunities will be expanded to include everyone else in the general population.Click here to view data about the number of vaccines administered in Loudoun County and around Virginia. More than 7,400 doses have been administered in Loudoun.
How to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine
Many members of the Phase 1a and 1b priority groups may be enrolled for vaccination by their employers. Members of the 1a and 1b groups who have not been contacted by their employers and residents over the age of 75 may receive guidance about the vaccination process by contacting the Loudoun County Health Department in one of two ways:
- Send an email that includes name, organization and basis for inclusion in Phase 1a or 1b to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call Loudoun County’s COVID-19 information line at 703-737-8300 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Stay vigilant, sign up for alerts
Before and after Loudoun residents receive a COVID-19 vaccine, county officials are urging residents to continue taking steps that help prevent the spread of the disease, including washing hands frequently, wearing face coverings, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings of people, and staying home when sick.
Residents can stay informed about the COVID-19 vaccine process at loudoun.gov/coronavirus, or sign up to receive text or email updates about COVID-19 from Loudoun County. Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts in English, or text LCCOVIDESP to 888777 to receive text alerts in Spanish.