By Taylor Boyd
Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is operating vaccinefinder.gov, a free online service where users can search and locate pharmacies and providers that offer COVID-19 vaccinations.
Updated daily, the website displays the types of vaccine available, the hours of operation, and the website and phone number of providers within a designated radius.
“Information about where COVID-19 vaccines are available is provided directly by pharmacies and providers, in collaboration with states,” the CDC said.
To search for a vaccine, enter a five-digit zip code and select the appropriate search radius distance and the vaccine brands desired. The results will detail the address of the pharmacies in the area, the distance, and whether the vaccine of choice is in stock.
Nancy Bell, public information officer for the West Piedmont Health District (WPHD), said information and “links that you can click to get a vaccination closest to you,” also can be found on the West Piedmont Health District Facebook page.
She said the WPHD is currently doing some outreach to populations that may not be getting the vaccine. “By that, I don’t mean necessary racial divide or anything, I’m talking about pockets of elderly folks or people who may not be sure they want to take the vaccine. We’re launching some educational information to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine is able to receive one and educate the public that the vaccine is the quickest way to get back to normal,” Bell said.
The largest percentage of those taking the vaccine have not experienced significant reactions, she said, and added “so many thousands have gone in front of you that it’s got to be a good thing.”
As of April 19, about half of the adults in Virginia have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, Gov. Ralph Northam said at his April 19 press conference.
“That’s more than 39 percent of all Virginians and almost 25 percent are fully vaccinated,” he said.
Following the expansion of eligibility to all Virginians aged 16 and older on April 18, Northam said at least three million more Virginians are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Working with our partners in local health districts, private pharmacies chains, doctors’ offices, and others, I am confident that every adult in Virginia who wants a vaccine can get their first shot by the end of May,” he said.
“After dropping steeply earlier this year, our daily case counts have been on a plateau for the past month or so. I’m glad to say we have fewer than 1,000 new cases reported from yesterday – 978 to be exact, and our percent positivity is down to 6.1 percent,” he said.
Small changes to the current social distancing guidelines are expected within the next few weeks, he said.
Some of those changes include cross country sports being “allowed to have 68 runners at the starting line, which is up from 50,” he said.
Performance events, like musicals and drama performance, which were previously classified as social gatherings, will now be in the same category as athletic events, with the number of spectators increasing “to 100 indoors or 30 percent of that venue’s capacity. If it’s outdoors it will be increased to 500 or 30 percent of capacity.”
As of Monday, April 19 data from the Virginia Department of Health suggested there are 4,462 cases, with 330 hospitalizations, and 121 deaths in Henry County.
In Patrick County, 1,316 cases with 102 hospitalized, and 42 dead from the COVID-19 virus were reported.
In the City of Martinsville, 1,572 cases were reported with 148 hospitalized, and 76 dead.
The data also suggests there are 648,347 cases in the state, with 27,784 hospitalized, and 10,625 dead from the COVID-19 virus. Information from the CDC suggested there are 31,484,148 cases in the United States and 564,292 dead from coronavirus.
Data also suggests that as of April 19, 2,166,158 Virginians have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
For more tips on how to stay safe, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.