NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Vaccine rollouts across Northern Virginia have begun for the 1B group, but some counties are facing difficulties with scheduling appointments and low inventory.
The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is passing the quantity in Northern Virginia.
“The registration for the vaccination last week was a bit overwhelming,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, director at the Loudoun County Health Department. “We had over 50,000 surveys submitted.”
The response was so overwhelming that it forced many counties to stop taking appointments.
Goodfriend says that they have halted appointments for now, due to the low inventory of the vaccine. Virginia only receives roughly 110,000 doses each week, he says.
“We don’t have a secure level that we can count on week after week of doses. As a result, it’s hard for us to plan vaccination sites more than a week in advance,” said Goodfriend.
The 1B group is overwhelmingly larger than phase 1A, which now includes persons aged 65 or older, in addition to those aged 16-64 with a high-risk medical condition. To deal with the demand, the county implemented a one minute survey for those interested to enter health information.
“When we do have the vaccine, we can go through that order of folks to schedule appointments,” said Goodfriend.
Prince William County is also following suit, halting their scheduling of appointments and implementing a waitlist.
“Due to the limited availability of vaccines and the fact that appointments are now booked through February 15th, the three jurisdictions assisted the health district by establishing a new unified waitlist application,” the memo read.
Both the Prince William Health District and Loudoun County Health Department said it could be weeks before those on the waiting lists could be scheduled for an appointment.
The memo also states the Commonwealth has introduced a new scheduling system called PrepMod, which will allow users to enter information online. The new system will be activated next month.