Here is key information about COVID-19 vaccinations in the Rappahannock Area Health District, which includes Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.
WHO’S BEING VACCINATED NOW: Any health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shots and those in Tier 1b, which includes ages 65 and up; people 16 to 64 with underlying health issues; certain essential workers and those in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps.
ORDER OF TIER 1b: The local health district is focusing on the first three groups then will expand to others:
1. Police, fire and hazmat
2. Corrections and homeless shelter workers
3. Childcare and K–12 teachers/staff
4. Food and agriculture
6. Grocery store workers
7. Public transit workers
8. Mail carriers, USPS and private
WHEN: Through spring
WHERE: Clinics are being held in each locality; at area pharmacies; and Mary Washington Hospital. All slots are by appointments only; no walk-ins are accepted. When people are contacted about appointments, they will be told the location.
HOW TO REGISTER: The Virginia Department of Health has a statewide, centralized registration system at vaccinate.virginia.gov.
All new registrations will be done through that site or by calling Virginia's COVID-19 call center at 877/VAX-IN-VA, or 877/829-4682. The call center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Those who have already registered for the vaccine do not need to register again. However, those who are concerned about their names being on the list can contact the Rappahannock Area Health District call center at 540/899-4797 or email@example.com.
HELP BY PHONE: Rappahannock Area Health District call center: 540/899-4797
Healthy Generations Agency on Aging for older residents: 540/371-3375
Fredericksburg United Methodist Church “Vaccine Buddy Project” to help older residents register: 540/870-1985 or firstname.lastname@example.org
King George County helpline for its residents: 540/775-8977 or COVID19@co.kinggeorge.state.va.us.
Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District call center: 540/308-6072
Northern Neck COVID-19 hotline: 888/204-5357
CVS HEALTH: The pharmacy is scheduling appointments for those age 65 and up at select stores. No walk-ins accepted. Register through the CVS Pharmacy app or at its website, cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine and click on “Check COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.” People without online access can contact CVS customer service at 800/746-7287.
1. Register only once.
2. Fill out all the fields and double-check the email address to make sure it’s complete.
3. Check emails and the spam folder regularly, and make sure emails aren’t blocked.
THOSE IN EARLY TIERS who weren’t vaccinated can jump in later to get their shots.
WHEN MORE VACCINE becomes available, more pharmacies and doctors’ offices will offer them, just as they do flu shots.
SECOND DOSES: People will get their second doses three to four weeks after their first one; health officials ask them to commit to getting the second doses and to expect to get them at the same place. Mary Washington Hospital gives people an appointment card after the first dose. Area health districts currently are scheduling appointments for second doses the same time they schedule the first doses.
WHO’S NEXT: Tier 1c includes other essential workers, but because Tier 1b has expanded, it will be a while before things move to Tier 1c. It includes those who work in these areas: energy; water and wastewater; housing construction; food service; transportation and logistics; institutions of higher education faculty and staff; finance; information technology and communication; media; legal services; public safety engineers; other public health workers; and officials needed to maintain continuity of government.
COVID-19 TESTING: Three free testing clinics are held each week, except on holidays, in the Fredericksburg at these locations:
Mondays, 1–4 p.m., at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, 4600 Spotsylvania Parkway
Wednesdays, 4–7 p.m., at Stafford Hospital, 101 Hospital Center Blvd.
Fridays, 1:30–4:30 p.m., at Dixon Park, 1300 Dixon St., Fredericksburg.
Those interested can preregister at vdh.virginia.gov/Rappahannock/freecovid19testing or call 540/899-4797 during business hours.
WEATHER CLOSINGS: The Rappahannock Area Health District will announce closings of its vaccination clinics by 3 p.m. the day before the event and the same day that testing events are planned. All those scheduled will be called or notified. Check online at vdh.virginia.gov/rappahannock. Mary Washington Healthcare also will announce closings on its website, marywashingtonhealthcare.com, or on Facebook.
Sources: Rappahannock Area Health District, Rappahannock–Rapidan Health District, Virginia Department of Health and Mary Washington Healthcare
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425