Jan 23rd, 2021

Hampton Roads cities last to enter Phase 1B as part of Virginia COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Originally posted by: WVEC-TV

HAMPTON, Va. — The Hampton and Peninsula Health Districts started Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations Friday. Norfolk and Virginia Beach officially start on Monday. Portsmouth, on Tuesday.

They’re the final cities and health departments to begin the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“It’s a big question that we have: was it an issue of access to actual vaccines or was it an issue of the logistics piece of the puzzle,” said Andria McClellan, chair of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

McClellan sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam’s office Thursday with concerns about the rate of vaccinations in Hampton Roads, specifically.

“This vaccination effort is a marathon, not a sprint, but we definitely lost the 100-yard dash,” she said. “We are getting the pressure from our residents as they’re asking: Why is this not happening faster? Why are we lagging behind?”

The City of Hampton started giving vaccine doses to city employees – such as teachers – at the Hampton Roads Convention Center across from the Hampton Coliseum on Friday.

In the Peninsula Health District, vaccines were also provided on the Christopher Newport University campus and at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center.

“For essential workers that fall within the city, the localities wanted to make sure they got vaccinated as soon as possible,” Taylor La Dieu explained.

La Dieu is a COVID-19 vaccine site lead for the Peninsula Health District.

Next week, the Hampton and Peninsula Health Districts will start scheduling vaccine appointments for people over 75 years old.

Those appointments will likely start in February. You can register on the health district websites.

In a joint letter issued Monday afternoon, city managers on the Peninsula say they are trying their best to be as patient as they can while the Virginia Department of Health decides the next steps for vaccine rollout in the area.

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