ESVA Vaccine Phase Updates

Eastern Shore Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Phases
Posted on 04/02/2021


Covid Vaccine Phases

Find out which phase of the vaccination campaign you fall in. 

Northampton County is in Phase 1c

Visit: Vaccinate Virginia to register for the COVID-19 Vaccine or call (877) VAX-IN-VA to talk with someone. 

For more information about Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/

Receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 does not mean life goes back to pre-pandemic times. It is still extremely important to wear a mask, social distance and practice good hand hygiene. Even after receiving the vaccine, it will remain important to continue masking, maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowded areas until we see case counts drop in the coming months and public health authorities indicate it is safe to relax protective measures.

See more on the COVID-19 Coronavirus page on our website.


April 2, 2021
Vaccine Available to All Eastern Shore Residents beginning Monday April 5, 2021 

 

Beginning Monday, April 5, the Virginia Department of Health’s Eastern Shore Health District (ESHD), in partnership with Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. (ESRHS) and Riverside Medical Group (Riverside), will open up COVID-19 vaccines to our entire Eastern Shore of VA population.

“We have vaccinated the vast majority of our Phase 1 population who have expressed interest in getting the vaccine. We are excited to be able to open vaccine eligibility to our entire Shore community” said Chief Operating Officer Jon Richardson, of the Eastern Shore Health District.

For many weeks now, ESHD has been collaborating with our partners at Riverside and ESRHS to deliver vaccines to the Eastern Shore community. That work will continue as we strive to get vaccines administered as quickly and safely as possible. Please understand we do not get to “choose” which vaccine is sent to us. All are effective and the best one is the one we have available.

If you are in Phase 2 (general population) and wish to receive a vaccine, please contact your primary care provider. For those not having a primary care provider, Eastern Shore Rural Health will provide you a vaccine. Please contact them directly to schedule your appointment. If you were eligible under Phase 1, and wish to receive a vaccine, please contact the Health Department at 757-787-5880 and we will set you up with an appointment.

Receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 does not mean life goes back to pre-pandemic times but each vaccination gets us closer. It is still important to wear a mask, social distance and practice good hand hygiene. Even after receiving the vaccine, it will remain important to continue masking, maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowded areas when in public spaces or when you are around others who have not been vaccinated. Remember it takes 2 weeks after your last vaccination for the vaccine to become fully effective.

We sincerely appreciate the patience our community has exhibited as we worked to vaccinate those who are most susceptible to a negative health outcome and at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. We ask that you continue to be patient with us as we open vaccine eligibility to all; we are devoting every available resource to this effort and vaccine supply remains limited.




March 16, 2021
Eastern Shore Health District Will Expand COVID-19 Vaccination to
“Phase 1C” Recipients


(Accomac, Va.) – Beginning Tuesday, March 16, the Virginia Department of Health’s Eastern Shore Health District (ESHD), in partnership with Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. (ESRHS) and Riverside Medical Group (Riverside), will begin to provide COVID-19 vaccines to additional groups of recipients identified as Phase 1C. These include workers in Energy, Water, Wastewater and Waste Removal, Housing and Construction, Food Service, Transportation and Logistics, Institutions of Higher Learning, Finance, Information Technology and Communications, Media, Legal Services, Public Safety and Public Health.


“We have nearly completed the first round of Phase 1B vaccinations. We will begin vaccinating essential workers identified in 1C while finishing up vaccinations of our 1B population. This will allow us to move to vaccinating our general population more quickly” said Chief Operating Officer Jon Richardson, of the Eastern Shore Health District.


If you are age 65+ or 16-64 with an existing health condition, you wish to be vaccinated and have not already scheduled an appointment, please contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact Eastern Shore Rural Health System and they will make an appointment for you. If you are an essential worker identified in Phase 1A, 1B or 1C please contact your employer and have them register with the Health Department.


For many weeks now, ESHD has been collaborating with our partners at Riverside and ESRHS to deliver vaccines to the Eastern Shore community. That work will continue as we strive to get vaccines administered as quickly and safely as possible. Please understand we do not get to “choose” which vaccine is sent to us. All are effective and the best one is the one we have available.


If you are an essential worker who falls into one of the Phase 1A, B or C groups identified by type of employment, please seek information from your employer for your vaccination plan. Employers falling into 1A, B or C who do not have a plan in place yet for your employees and have not heard from ESHD should contact us at 757-787-5880 to coordinate a vaccination clinic for your employees.

Receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 does not mean life goes back to pre-pandemic times but each vaccination gets us closer. It is still important to wear a mask, social distance and practice good hand hygiene. Even after receiving the vaccine, it will remain important to continue masking, maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowded areas until we see case counts drop in the coming months and public health authorities indicate it is safe to relax protective measures.

We appreciate the patience our community has exhibited as we work to vaccinate those who are most susceptible to a negative health outcome and at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. We ask that you continue to be patient with us as we finish working through the priority groups and get to each person who desires vaccination as soon as possible; we are devoting every available resource to this effort.


For more information about Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.




January 28, 2021
Updates were given to the Northampton County Board of Supervisors from Jon Richardson, Chief Operating Officer for Eastern Shore Health District. 


On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Jon Richardson, Chief Operating Officer for the Eastern Shore Health District gave an update on the progress of the vaccination efforts to the Northampton County Board of Supervisors. For most of the Eastern Shore, the infrastructure is on place for mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine but supplies are lagging behind. 
"We anticipate the supply is not going to increase for six to eight weeks," said Richardson. "With 500 doses a week we are barely making a dent in the population and we certainly could be doing something along those lines of 3-4% of the population a week." That amounts to about 1,800 doses per week. 


The logistics of getting the infrastructure in place has been a collective effort from the various health agencies on the Shore.
"I can’t say enough how I appreciate Rural Health and Riverside partnering with us to build up the infrastructure," Richardson continued. "We have really good distribution. Geographically it’s available to people. It’s being offered at all the Rural Health centers. It’s being offered at all the Riverside Medical Group centers and of course, at the Health Department. We were one of the first in the state to do Phase 1b. And then as other districts came on board there just wasn’t enough vaccine supplies," Richardson stated. 

Of the 300,000 doses requested statewide, only 106,000 doses were allocated to Virginia to distribute. Richardson further explained,  "But that’s one of the challenges we’re facing. We have certainly got the infrastructure in place and we’re ready to flip a switch when the vaccine comes. But until we can get more vaccine in our hand, there’s not much else we can do except do the best with the other things we do- testing and containment, those sorts of things." 

COVID-19 exposure and test positive cases have been trending downward for a week or more. "After the holidays we expected a fairly large peak but that’s been trending downward now for a week or more. Hopefully that’ll continue," said Richardson. This is a good reminder to continue to keep each other safe by wearing a face covering, practice social distancing by staying 6 ft apart and thoroughly washing hands to slow the spread of the virus.


The Eastern Shore is currently in Phase 1b of who gets the vaccine, which includes, frontline essential workers, people age 65+, people age 16-64 with an underlying medical condition, and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and migrant labor camps. 
But with short supplies the Health Department is focusing on the most vulnerable in those groups. Richardson explained, "We try to focus on getting shots in the arms of people who are most susceptible to a bad health outcome because from a moral standpoint that makes the most sense. From a practical standpoint that’s how we keep our hospitals and our health systems from getting overrun. Those folks are more likely to experience death or significant health impact. That’s where we’ve been focusing the 500 allocation that we’re getting this next 4 weeks. To try to get as many of those people taken care of with as many doses as we can." 

Betsy Mapp, District 5 Supervisor, asked if we are getting our fair share of the state's allocation. Richardson replied, "This 500 (doses) allocation is a per capita allocation. That is the fairest way the state distributes. We have roughly 45,000 people on the shore and you divide that by the 8.5 million folks in VA... So I would say yes, based on the model, we are getting our fair share. But like the rest of the state it isn’t enough."  

At a press conference  on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, Governor Northam said the federal government has promised a 16% increase of more doses to be distributed immediately. The goal is to have everyone who wants the vaccine to be vaccinated by the end of summer. “We have been in a long dark tunnel for now 10-plus months,” Northam said. “And so this vaccination is literally the light and the hope at the end of that tunnel. If we all continue to work together we can get there.” To date 668,401 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Virginia with 89,645 people receiving the required two doses.  

Governor Northam announced the following actions:

Temporary reallocation of unused inventory. Hospitals will make an additional 40,000 doses available shots this week by temporarily reallocating unused inventory. This will not impact the ability of individuals who receive a first dose of vaccine to get the second dose at the appropriate time, and vaccine providers will receive second doses in proportion to the first doses they administer.

Consistent guidelines for local health departments. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is issuing clear guidance to health districts about how to use the limited supply of doses available for Group 1B. This includes allocating roughly half of available doses for people age 65 and older. The other half should be used for frontline essential workers, people in congregate settings, and individuals aged 16-64 at increased risk of severe illness.  

Increasing data accuracy and transparency. To increase transparency and give Virginians more information about vaccination progress, VDH is launching an expanded COVID-19 vaccination data dashboard that includes additional information on distribution and usage by health district, facility type, and first and second doses.

Improve race and ethnicity data collection: The governor is directing clinicians to collect race and ethnicity information during vaccine registration and at the time the vaccine is administered. The governor is also backing legislation sponsored by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Chair Lamont Bagby that will make it a requirement to collect this information.

Streamlining vaccine registration. Governor Northam directed VDH to accelerate its work on a single statewide vaccine registration system that is currently under development and expected to be complete soon.

Continuing mitigation measures. Governor Northam is extending Executive Order Seventy-Two, which outlines current mitigation measures and was set to expire on Sunday, January 31, 2021, through February 28, 2021.