Navigating COVID-19

The primary goal of Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula is to provide one place to get the information you need about how, when and where to get your COVID-19 vaccination. We will keep you updated on vaccine communications and the most recent COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts across the Peninsula through:

  • One voice communications
  • Scheduling and staffing larger vaccine clinics
  • Data tracking for transparent updates
  • Improved accessibility to underserved populations

With a collaborative effort across the Peninsula, health systems, healthcare providers, local health districts and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) now deliver a unified structure to facilitate COVID-19 vaccinations  – sooner than later. Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula consolidates medical and legislative efforts to enhance the vaccination process and answer questions.

By working together with access to all available resources and vaccination logistics information, everyone across Newport News, Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg and York County will be able to understand when and how to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula 

 

How to schedule COVID-19 Vaccinations for Peninsula Communities

Together, we are making sure every community across the Peninsula has easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • For more information about how to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit vaccinefinder.org
  • If you are a Bon Secours patient, please visit here to learn how to schedule a vaccination appointment.
  • If you are a Riverside patient, please visit here to learn how to schedule a vaccination appointment.
  • If you are a Sentara patient, please visit here to learn how to schedule a vaccination appointment.  

We support vaccination efforts from other locations, including pharmacies and FEMA clinics, because we support the cause to vaccinate – from wherever it’s most convenient for you. If you have general questions about COVID-19 or would like to review the Virginia Department of Health’s vaccination information, please review their FAQs.    

CVS Pharmacy is now offering free vaccine clinics in Hampton and Newport News! Some same-day appointments are available. 
 
Check your local CVS for available appointments.

On April 23, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States, after a temporary pause.  Please review the update from the VDH here

Vaccine Information

Will I need more than one dose of the vaccine?
Currently, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, will require two doses. Your vaccine provider will let you know which vaccine you received and help provide a way to remind you to return in the right amount of time so you can receive your second dose. It’s important that you receive the same vaccine for the highest efficacy.

How effective will the vaccine be?
To be approved, the FDA requires at least 50% effectiveness, but the latest data has shown two COVID-19 vaccines to be above 90% in efficacy. This is almost double the flu vaccine annually. Some of the initial vaccines will require a second dose, either 21 or 28 days after the first dose to reach that 90%+ effectiveness. Your provider will share that information with you before administering the vaccine.

How do you know the vaccine is safe?
All vaccines carry minor side effects, but clinical trials along with FDA approval confirms the safety and efficacy. The latest data shows COVID-19 vaccines to be above 90% in efficacy, which is almost double the flu vaccine annually. The safety data has been evaluated by the FDA and was a critical piece of their decision to move forward with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Additionally, even after the vaccine is administered, the FDA will continue to monitor for any side effects and overall safety for a minimum of two months. That said, Riverside is confident in the safety and efficacy of the upcoming vaccine for our community.

What are the side effects of the vaccine going to be?
Early information on the vaccine has shown minor side effects like the Shingles vaccine, including:

Pain and tenderness at the injection site
Fatigue
Slight fever
Headache
Muscle/joint pain
More information will be available as the clinical trials progress and information is presented to the Food and Drug Administration.
 

If I’ve already tested positive for COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine?
Right now, it’s still unknown how long a person’s immunity after they’ve had COVID-19 lasts so we are recommending getting the vaccine regardless of whether you have previously tested positive. As more information is available, this might change, and we will be sure to communicate any updates to this recommendation.

Are there concerns around the interaction between the flu and COVID-19 vaccines?
The CDC recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be administered within 14 days of any other vaccine. However, Riverside encourages everyone to go ahead and get their flu vaccine until the COVID-19 vaccine becomes broadly available. If you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now and have recently received another vaccine, please let your healthcare provider know.

Is there anyone who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine? What if I have a chronic condition?


  • The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is not available to children under age 12. The Moderna vaccine is not available to anyone under the age of 18.
  • The COVID-19 vaccination might not be recommended for people with certain health conditions. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about getting the vaccine.
  • For individuals that have had a previous severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable medication, talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine.
  • For those that have had a severe allergic reaction to food or oral medications, talk with your doctor before getting the vaccine. If you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be monitored for 30 minutes after the vaccine is administered.
  • There are a lot of internet and social media rumors around the vaccine. If in doubt about the vaccine and your specific health condition, please talk with your healthcare provider before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy or breastfeeding women; There is very limited data in pregnant women but trials involving pregnant women are due to start in January. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits.