February 12, 2021
The Upshot: Register with your local health district even if you have registered via VAFMA and/or VDACS for access to the vaccine.
As we shared last week, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages farmers market staff, vendors and farmers to visit the website of their local health district to register via the web portal or other process set up by their local health district.
Up to this point, each health district has had a different method for registering for vaccine interest. Some districts have started offering vaccination to people working in the ag / food sector because they have already covered other essential workers in Phase 1b. Other health districts are still not scheduling appointments for food / ag employees because they have a backlog of healthcare, police, teachers, correctional workers, etc.
For example, the Eastern Shore Health District has started working with the poultry companies there to begin scheduling some vaccinations of poultry processing employees (although there is not yet enough vaccine availability to cover all the poultry employees). This is not the case in the Valley, which also has a concentration of poultry processors. In that region, the health districts are still dealing with a backlog of people in some of the other sectors mentioned and will then move to the poultry sector and other ag / food workers.
And in other regions like far Southwest Virginia, health districts may be close to offering appointments to food/ag essential employees. VDACS provided these districts with a list of commercial growers, farmers markets / vendors, etc at the health district’s request. Even in these areas, we would still encourage you to go to the web page of your health district and input your info in the appropriate vaccine interest form.
CVS is also offering vaccinations at select sites. The page they have set up is https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine. The CVS Virginia sites are focusing on those people 65+ but should move to other eligible categories in the near future.
Frontline Essential Workers by Order of Vaccination Planning
Because there is not sufficient supply at this time to vaccinate everyone in Phase 1b at the same time, local health districts will reach out to engage the Frontline Essential Worker groups in vaccination planning in the following order:
1. Police, Fire, and Hazmat
2. Corrections and homeless shelter workers
3. Childcare/PreK-12 Teachers/Staff (public and private)
4. Food and Agriculture (including veterinarians)
6. Grocery store workers
7. Public transit workers
8. Mail carriers (USPS and private)
9. Officials needed to maintain continuity of government (including judges and public-facing judicial workers)
As we have more information, we will share it with you.