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Wellness during COVID-19

Peninsula and Hampton Health Districts, Localities and Health Systems Support COVID-19 Booster Vaccines

September 28, 2021
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Today, ‘Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula,’ a collaboration across local health districts, localities, and health systems on the Peninsula, encourages all eligible Virginians to become vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive a booster dose for further protection.

The COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. (Pfizer/Biotech, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and Moderna) have been proven to be safe and effective through rigorous testing and government approval. Further, vaccines are effective in reducing one's risk for hospitalization or severe consequences; unvaccinated people are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, according to research by the CDC. Due to the highly contagious Delta variant, third doses and Pfizer booster shots are recommended for additional protection for community members most at risk.

For optimal protection, The FDA and CDC recommend recipients do not receive vaccination from more than one manufacturer. Therefore, anyone who has received the Moderna, or J&J vaccines are currently ineligible for a booster dose at this time. Please know that the Moderna and J&J completed, initial vaccine series continue to protect you and your loved ones from hospitalization and severe illness. Additionally, it is anticipated that Moderna will file for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the next several weeks. As more information is available, we will continue to share it with the community.

The Pfizer booster is approved only for those who previously received two doses of Pfizer, with the second dose administered at least six months prior to the booster dose and one of the following criteria from the CDC:

● People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
● People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series,
● People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks,
● People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

Health System partners of ‘Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula’ Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare are offering COVID-19 booster vaccines in addition to first, second and third doses. 

Booster doses are widely available and can maximize protection that may otherwise decrease slightly over time. To schedule your vaccine, please visit one of many clinic options:

● Schedule through Vaccine Finder (www.VaccineFinder.org). Vaccine Finder will provide vaccine locations in the community where you live.
● Riverside Health System will be providing COVID vaccinations through:
○ Drive through Community Clinics: Riverside is offering Pfizer 1st, 2nd, 3rd dose and vaccine boosters at their flu clinics in the Peninsula, Williamsburg, Middle Peninsula, and the Eastern Shore. Booster shots will be available for those aged 65 and older, health care workers and first responders. If you have an underlying condition, please discuss with your primary care physician or specialist who can help determine if a booster is needed and schedule you for a vaccine. For a listing of dates and locations, please visit here.
○ Existing Riverside patients can schedule through their Riverside MyChart account.
○ If you are not a Riverside patient or do not have a Riverside MyChart account, you can schedule your 1st, 2nd, 3rd dose or vaccine booster here or https://mychart.riversideonline.com/mychart/covid19/#/.
○ You can also visit https://www.riversideonline.com/health-resources/navigating-covid-19/covid-19-vaccine for more vaccine scheduling information.
● Sentara Medical Group primary care patients will receive updates when booster shot appointments are available in their office. In the meantime, eligible patients can utilize CDC’s vaccine finder website to find a convenient appointment.
● 100 Black Men of America Health Fair, located at YH Thomas Community Center, Hampton Saturday, 10/23/21 9:30am – 1:00pm (walk-in/indoors)
● If you are homebound and need to schedule your COVID 1st, 2nd, 3rd dose or vaccine booster, please call the Peninsula Health District Vaccine Strike Team at 757-594-7748. You may leave your name and address to ensure you and each of your family members or caretakers are able to receive the vaccine.

Proof of prior Pfizer vaccination (vaccine card) will be required at all ‘Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula’ alliance-member clinics. If you have lost your card, you can get a new card that you can print out at: https://vase.vdh.virginia.gov/vacapps/f?p=545:1.

Our goal is to ensure every community member on the Peninsula has ease of access to the COVID-19 vaccine and makes the best decision for their health. As vaccine distribution progresses, all information will be shared through us, using one voice, with the community.

For more information about how to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.