The COVID-19 updates to the Board of County Supervisors continue to offer a dispelling of misinformation, updates on changes and reiteration of factors that are as yet unchanged–such as the reality that vaccine supply is still the biggest challenge to distribution, and that it will likely take into the spring to fully vaccinate groups 1A and 1B. (View presentation on YouTube.)
On a positive note, the Prince William Health District, which also serves Manassas and Manassas Park, is being highly efficient with the vaccine it does receive. Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Misner said that Prince William ranks second in Northern Virginia, and fourth in the Commonwealth, for the number of doses administered. Highlights from the Feb. 16 Board meeting are below. You can also view Mr. Misner’s PPT for a more detailed overview.
New State Registration System & Call Center
VDH has launched its new vaccine pre-registration system, PrepMod. If you were on the Prince William Health District waitlist, you do not need to register again. Your information will be transferred within the week; look for a confirmation email. The data transfer may take up to a week; until that time registrants may get a “User Not Found” response. For those who are registered by continue to see this message after Mon., Feb. 22, please call 877-829-4682. This state-run call center is open daily, 8am-8pm, with English and Spanish speaking operators, and a call back option offers translation in 100+ other languages. The PWHD call center (703-872-7759) will now only answer questions regarding testing, forwarding other questions to VDH.
The Prince William Health District is transferring 52,995 registrants awaiting a first dose, and 10,576 second-dose registrants, to PrepMod. All appointments are booked no more than 7 days ahead of time, to ensure that supply will be available and to minimize cancellations, which increase when appointments are booked further in advance. Those waiting for a second dose will be contacted within one week of their due date. It will take several months to vaccine all who are currently eligible for the vaccine (1A & 1B), and may take until fall for the vaccine to be available to everyone who wants it.
Virginia Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said that the state launched PrepMod to move from the CDC’s VAMS system (launched in Dec. 2020), which was insufficient for the state’s needs. PrepMod is easier to use, sends weekly updates to all registrants, provides consistency across health districts in information collected (including asking for underlying conditions), and allows individuals to view their account at any time.
All PWHD-run sites are available by appointment-only, to people in groups 1A and 1B. If you have not done so already, pre-register online. It could take several weeks to be contacted regarding scheduling. The Manassas Mall vaccination site opened on 2/16 with 12 stations and can add capacity when supply increases. A similar site on the east end has been identified and should be open within a couple of weeks. Second doses are being administered at Veterans Park this week, in partnership with Safeway.
CVS Pharmacy continues to operate independently of the Health District through a federal program, despite attempts by the Virginia Department of Health to work more collaboratively. The company did agree to a VDH request to vaccinate individuals ages 65+. It offers no waitlist, and appointments are added on a rolling basis. Use this link to check for availability and schedule an appointment. Until you secure an appointment with CVS, it is advised to remain on the new VDH waitlist.
Individuals 16+ with Underlying Conditions
Any individuals with underlying health conditions should sign up for the Prepmod waitlist. Individuals with critical conditions can ask their primary care physician to advocate on their patient’s behalf for earlier vaccination; this could include a letter of recommendation about why the patient should be given high priority.
Age remains the greatest risk factor leading to death and complications from COVID-19. VDH and its local health districts will continue to prioritize those 75+, followed by 65+.
CVS Vaccination - Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
CVS Pharmacy now offers vaccine to Virginians 65+ through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will ship these doses directly to 36 CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the Commonwealth. Scheduling is handled directly through CVS, which chose to not integrate with existing state and local waitlists. It will also not offer a waitlist of its own; instead, appointments are opened on a rolling basis as supply allows. Check back frequently for availability. With this in mind, residents over age 65 should remain on the Virginia Prepmod waitlist until they have secured a CVS appointment, as this may still be the faster route for vaccination for many.