Medical Reserve Corps member administers vaccine

A Medical Reserve Corps member administers a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Loudoun County Health department is requiring all people requesting a COVID-19 vaccine in the Phase 1a and Phase 1b priority groups to complete an online pre-screening survey, according to county officials.

Requests for vaccine will no longer be accepted by email. Only those who do not have access to the Internet should call the health department’s COVID-19 hotline, the county said.

Loudoun, following federal guidelines, is moving adults aged 65 and older from Phase 1c into Phase 1b. This change also moves people aged 16 through 64 years with a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19 into Phase 1b.

The health department is accepting requests for vaccination only from people who are in the Phase 1a and Phase 1b vaccination priority groups. At this time, supplies of vaccine in Loudoun remain limited, county officials said.

The online pre-screening survey should be submitted by people in Phase 1a or Phase 1b, and when additional vaccine supplies arrive in Loudoun, additional appointments will be offered.

Who is eligible in Phase 1b as of Jan. 15?

Phase 1b now includes front-line essential workers, persons aged 65 years and older, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps, people aged 16 through 64 years with a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that teens aged 16 to 18 who have underlying medical conditions are eligible, the Loudoun County Health Department is currently accepting only pre-screening vaccination surveys from adults 18 and older because the health department’s supply of its vaccine — the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine — is approved only for people 18 and older.

The Loudoun County Health department is scheduling appointments for members of the 1b front-line essential worker group in the following order:

• 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

Concurrently, people aged 65 and over and adults 18 and over with high-risk medical conditions are also included in Loudoun’s Phase 1b. This population is prioritized to receive vaccine at the same time as the front-line workers.

The health department is coordinating special vaccination events for law enforcement, fire and hazmat, corrections and homeless shelter workers, public schools employees, and local government workers. There is no need for people working in these sectors to contact the health department to schedule appointments, the department said.

How to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine

Many members of the Phase 1a and 1b priority groups can enroll for the vaccine through their employers. This is the most efficient way of getting signed up for vaccinations, according to the health department.

Employers, members of the 1a and 1b groups who have not been contacted by their employers, residents over the age of 65, and adults with high-risk medical conditions may begin the process for scheduling and appointment by contacting the Loudoun County Health Department in one of two ways:

Complete an online pre-screen survey. The fastest and most efficient method to obtain an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine is to submit an online form. After submitting the form, it may take days to weeks to receive a response due to limited vaccine supplies. As more vaccine arrives in Loudoun, additional appointments will be made, and those who have submitted the online pre-screening survey will be offered vaccination appointments in priority order.

Call the Loudoun COVID-19 hotline. Members of the public who do not have access to the internet can call Loudoun County’s COVID-19 information line at 703-737-8300 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Due to significant call volume, there may be a delay in reaching an operator.

Where will I get vaccine?

Right now, because supplies of COVID-19 vaccine are limited in Loudoun County, the health department has scheduled only a limited number of appointments. The health department is coordinating the expansion of vaccination opportunities to include other providers in the community such as employer-based clinics, doctors’ offices and health care providers, and local pharmacies.

As vaccine supplies in Loudoun increase and as more providers begin to offer the vaccine, Loudoun County ultimately will not be the primary provider of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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.

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