On Saturday, the County Board received a lengthy and detailed update on Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Arlington. We know not everyone has time to watch a weekend Board meeting, so here are a few key bits of info. Watch the full segment on the County's YouTube channel.
"I know it’s beyond frustrating and downright scary for many of us – including me – about the change and uncertainty in vaccine availability.” – Dr. Reuben Varghese, Public Health Director.
Within a week and a half of entering Phase 1b, the state informed the entire Commonwealth it was shifting to a per capita allocation by health district region. The primary reason for the sudden change was 1) Virginia is only receiving 110,000 doses per week for the whole state and 2) in a span of just two weeks, all of Virginia moved into Phase 1b.
Currently, the allocation for Arlington is roughly 2,700 doses per week. "Arlington County has the capacity to do at least 1,000 per day, but obviously without the vaccine we’re unable to do more."
"Through Jan. 23, Arlington County has received 5,100 first doses from Virginia. And as of Jan. 22, we have used 4,560 doses, close to 90%, which is what we were aiming for, so we always have supply to start the next week."
Arlington County Rescheduling VHC Appointments
Arlington County is working to reschedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments canceled by Virginia Hospital Center. Affected individuals include people 75 years and older who were scheduled to receive their first vaccine dose after Jan. 26, 2021. What to Know:
Individuals who already got a first dose of the vaccine at the VHC-managed clinic at the Walter Reed Community Center will still receive their second dose as scheduled.
Residents 75+ will be contacted directly by Arlington County to reschedule as vaccines becomes available. The goal is to reschedule the canceled appointments in the order of their original appointments.
Arlington asks for the community’s patience as it works to incorporate the 75+ group to its plans within the existing vaccine supplies.
Find additional information in our Vaccine FAQ, under the "VHC Vaccine Appointment Cancelations" section.
First Case of B.1.1.7 Covid-19 Variant Identified in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Health says that the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Northern Virginia with no reported recent travel history. The B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of Covid-19.
"Viruses change all the time, and we expect to see new strains as disease spreads,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. "As our state public health officials closely monitor the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant in our Commonwealth, it is important that all Virginians continue following mitigation measures."
Covid-19 News & Notes
• Central Library Holds Pickup service will reopen Tuesday
• The County’s ability to inoculate those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is limited only by the availability of vaccine supply
• Columbia Pike extends Buy a Nurse Lunch program through winter 2021
• Read: Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s Letter to Governor Northam Regarding Vaccine Distribution
Questions about Covid-19? Call the County's public information line at 703-228-7999, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5