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/.

.