Who is Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines in Arlington?
Starting Jan. 11, 2021, COVID-19 vaccines are available in Arlington County for the following groups of people:
- Phase 1a: Healthcare Personnel and Residents and Staff of Long Term Care Facilities
- Phase 1b: Persons aged 75 and older; People aged 65 through 74 years, people aged 16 through 64 years with a high risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19; Frontline Essential Workers: Police, Fire, and Hazmat; Corrections and homeless shelter workers; Childcare/K-12 Teachers/Staff; Food and Agriculture (including Veterinarians); Manufacturing; Grocery store workers; Public transit workers; Mail carriers (USPS and private); Officials needed to maintain continuity of government.
Organizations and individuals who qualify for Phase 1a or 1b should click here to pre-register for vaccination.
Who Will Be Eligible Next?
- Phase 1c: Other essential workers as defined by VDH, including waste removal workers food service, institutions of higher education faculty/staff and public safety (engineers).
Organizations and individuals who qualify for Phase 1c should pre-register for vaccination.
They will be notified when to make a vaccination appointment as Arlington moves into Phase 1c.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Governor Northam announced eligible groups for the next phases of COVID-19 vaccination. Following priority group 1a, the Virginia COVID-19 Vaccination Prioritization Guidance outlines Phase 1b as Essential Workers and Phase 1c as High-Risk Adults.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is developing an online portal to help people understand how to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. You can expect your organizations to be sent information to coordinate vaccine registrations.
Many of the people who are included in Phase 1b because of their age will be offered the vaccine through their healthcare provider. Others in this category will be able to access vaccination through their local health department or through arrangements with healthcare systems and pharmacies.
Learn more about how CDC is making decisions about priority groups to receive COVID-19 vaccination, visit When Vaccine is Limited, Who Gets Vaccinated First?
When and Where to Get Vaccinated
The vaccine will be offered first to people who work in health care and are at increased risk of getting COVID-19. This initial distribution in Virginia will go to health care personnel (HCP) and long-term care facility (LTCF) residents, beginning the inoculation process for the Commonwealth’s two top-priority groups. The Virginia Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (VDMAC) and the Virginia Unified Command prioritized these groups, adopting the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP).
Vaccines could be available to the general public in spring or summer 2021, depending on the manufacturers’ ability to produce and send vaccines. The actual amount of vaccine received in Virginia is a moving target and is dependent on when and how quickly vaccination doses are manufactured.
The Virginia Department of Health will continue to provide a vaccine in a way that is fair, ethical and transparent. VDH is coordinating future prioritization based on federal guidance. When there are enough vaccine doses available, it will be made available to all Virginians.
Based on plans at both the federal and state level, we expect you will likely be able to get the vaccine at the same places you usually get vaccines, such as:
- Your health care provider
- Community and hospital clinics
- Urgent care centers
NOTE: The vaccines currently in trials have not yet been studied in children younger than 16. They will not be available to that age group until more information is available.
The FDA is overseeing the approval process for vaccines. It has released safety and efficacy guidelines for companies working on a vaccine. As these guidelines make clear, the COVID-19 vaccines under development and in trials must follow the same rigorous safety rules as any other new vaccine.
The FDA will only grant Emergency Use Authorization if it decides the benefits of a vaccine outweigh its potential risks. In granting an EUA for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA determined the vaccine efficacy was 95%; or rather, a 95% reduction from the number of cases you would expect if they have not been vaccinated.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines.
MORE: Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
Following the EUA, FDA and CDC officials will continue monitoring the safety of vaccines after they are made available to make sure there are no previously detected side effects.
Even after you are vaccinated, you will still need to practice these prevention steps:
- Stay home if sick
- Wash your hands
- Wear a face covering
- Keep physical distance from others
- VDH: How will the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety be monitored?
- VDH: How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed, approved and manufactured
- CDC: Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial safety data have reported mostly mild or moderate symptoms after vaccination. The most common adverse reactions were temporary in nature, including: fever, body aches and soreness at the injection site.
The vaccine cannot give you COVID-19.