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Augusta Health Vaccine Clinic Update: October 12, 2021

October 12, 2021
Published in: COVID-19

In partnership with the Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD), Augusta Health continues community vaccinations for COVID-19.

Current Vaccination Dose Count at Augusta Health:

  • Total doses given at Augusta Health Vaccination Clinics: 92,111
  • Community member fully-vaccinated at AH Vaccination Clinics: 44,639
  • Boosters for the immunocompromised 6,717

Current Situation
Our community remains in a precarious position. While many of our community COVID indicators have decreased over the past few weeks, they remain relatively high when compared to the levels needed to be a healthy community.

For example, Augusta Health's positivity rate last week was 20.14%, which is an improvement from the 31% in September. It does not approach, however, the 5.7% we experienced last June.

Our current inpatient COVID-19 census is 41, with four deaths over the past week. While this is again a decrease from September's census, it again does not approach the extremely low volumes over the summer. A few days this summer the census was 0, and we were able, for a while, to close the COVID unit. That is no longer the case. The percentage of our COVID-19 patients who are critical care/ICU level patients remains at about 20% of hospitalized COVID patients. We continue to operate two ICUs and our ICUs both remain near capacity.

Over the 24 hours preceding 9 am on Tuesday, October 12, there were 29 new positive COVID-19 cases diagnosed through Augusta Health testing sites.

So, while we are less full than we were in September, the current census and other volumes are still considered high. We are also mindful of the impact of the 'golden days' of summer—when people became a bit less diligent with masking and social distancing—and the September surge that followed.

Thanks to community response, though, vaccinations have increased. The increased number of vaccinated people, and the renewed awareness of masking and social distancing, have begun to influence community spread and numbers. This allows us to continue to plan to gradually re-open services.

It would be a mistake to interpret the decrease in indicators as a sign that COVID has left the community. It remains, and is an opportunistic disease that will surge again if given the chance.

Help to continue to slow the spread and lower the projections: Please vaccinate, wear masks indoors even if vaccinated, wash hands frequently and stay socially distant from others when possible. COVID vaccinations are the still the most effective and lasting way to prevent COVID infections in our community, and the best defense against serious illness and death.

Vaccination Eligibility
Augusta Health is vaccinating everyone age 12 and older who lives, works or goes to school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for individuals age 18 and over. Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals age 12 and older; a parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of those under the age of 18.

There are now two groups of previously vaccinated people who can receive third-dose COVID-19 booster shots.

The first group, approved several weeks ago is:

  • Individuals who are moderately or severely immunocompromised (no proof of a medical condition is required at this time); and who
  • Have already received two doses of either the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine; and who
  • Received their second dose of vaccine more than 28 days ago.

The second, recently approved group is:

  • Those age 65 and over, or
  • Those ages 18-64 with an underlying medical condition, or
  • Those who live in congregate settings such as long-term care facilities or shelters, or
  • Those who work in high-risk occupations, who
  • Have already received two doses of PFIZER vaccine only, and who
  • Received their second dose more than six months ago.

Appointments are required for all booster shots and are available on vaccinate.augustahealth.com. Those who meet criteria for the second group but received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not eligible for boosters at this time. We anticipate the FDA and CDC will evaluate additional rounds of vaccination for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson again, and will be prepared for that approval when it is given.

The criteria for the two types of vaccine boosters can be confusing; if you have questions about eligibility, please call Augusta Health's Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122.

Please bring COVID Vaccination Record Card to the booster appointment.

Vaccinations in Primary Care Offices
Vaccinations for COVID-19 continue in all Augusta Medical Group primary care offices. Patients who prefer to receive a vaccination from their personal physician should contact their doctor's office to be scheduled into the next available vaccination appointment block.

Community-Based Clinics
This week, Augusta Health is sending vaccination teams to local long-term care facilities, schools and homeless shelters to assist with the vaccination of residents and staff at those sites.

Community organizations that would like to partner with Augusta Health for a Vaccination Clinic can contact VaccinationTaskForce [at] augustahealth.com for more information on the requirements.

Large on-campus Vaccination Clinics
Appointments are preferred for clinics. Walk-ins are welcome.

Go to vaccinate.augustahealth.com to view the links and schedule an appointment. Information about new clinics, the links and the criteria for each link, are posted as available. On-campus clinics for the remainder of this week are:

  • Tuesday, October 12: After school/after work clinic hours for those are unable to come during the day. The clinic will run from 3:30 pm until 7 pm. Walk-ins welcome until 6 pm.

This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic. Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com

  • Wednesday, October 13: THIRD-DOSE BOOSTER CLINIC.

The clinic will run from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Please verify criteria for one of the two approved populations for boosters. Pfizer booster available for both populations; Moderna booster only approved for immunocompromised population. Please bring Vaccination Record Card or record of previous vaccination. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com.

  • Thursday, October 14: After school/after work clinic hours for those are unable to come during the day. The clinic will run from 3:30 pm until 7 pm. Walk-ins welcome until 6 pm.

This is a dual Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson clinic. Anyone age 12 and older may receive Pfizer vaccine; Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine available to those age 18 and older and administered if available. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com

  • Friday, October 15: THIRD-DOSE BOOSTER CLINIC.

The clinic will run from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Please verify criteria for one of the two approved populations for boosters. Pfizer booster available for both populations; Moderna booster only approved for immunocompromised population. Please bring Vaccination Record Card or record of previous vaccination. The link is open on vaccinate.augustahealth.com.

Vaccination Call Center
Not everyone has access to the internet. Others just have questions. For assistance, call Augusta Health's Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122. The Call Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to answer questions and help to schedule vaccination appointments.

Homebound patients are being vaccinated through a pilot program with Central Shenandoah EMS. Contact the Vaccination Call Center for more information.

We appreciate our continued partnership with CSHD as we work together to provide vaccines to all in the community who need them.