As 2020 comes to a close, a quick update on the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Augusta Health:
As of the morning of December 31, Augusta Health has administered 1510 vaccines to healthcare workers since the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic opened on December 16. Augusta Health's allocation of the Pfizer vaccine has been administered, and the Clinic is now vaccinating with the Moderna vaccine. Vaccinations have been staged in alignment with the Virginia Prioritization Schedule. After first vaccinating healthcare workers directly caring for patients known or suspected to have COVID-19, other healthcare workers can now be scheduled for vaccination.
It is critical that the second dose of the vaccine be from the same manufacturer as the first dose, so those vaccinated are scheduled for a second dose as they leave the Vaccine Clinic. A second shipment of Pfizer vaccine to be used as second doses is expected soon. Because the interval between first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine is 21 days, the first healthcare workers who were vaccinated on December 16 will begin their second doses on or about January 6. Those vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine will receive a second dose after an interval of 28 days.
Most healthcare workers are vaccinated by the system that employs them. Vaccines for local healthcare workers not employed by a system are coordinated through the Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD). Augusta Health collaborates with the CSHD and provides assistance to them as needed or requested.
"Our Vaccine Task Force and our Population Health group meet regularly with the local health department to collaborate on all COVID work for the community," says John Mack, PA, Chief Operations Officer of Augusta Medical Group and a member of Augusta Health's Vaccine Task Force. "These discussions are starting to focus on how we will work together in the coming months to vaccinate the community. While the CHSD will be the lead on community vaccination, we expect that Augusta Health team members will assist in giving community vaccines, just as we have worked together for COVID testing. The vaccines will likely occur in stages based on the timing of vaccine shipments to the health department and the priority groupings that have been established."
OUR COMMUNITY WILL NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP GET EVERYONE VACCINATED
You don't have to be a nurse or a healthcare provider to volunteer to help with community vaccination. Many other volunteers are needed—registration staff, runners and educators to name a few. The Medical Reserve Corps provides a structure for registering volunteers, training them on the vaccination process and connecting volunteers to community vaccine events. To apply for the Medical Reserve Corps, go to https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/mrc/apply-to-volunteer/