The Virginia Department of Health has detailed which essential workers will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the coming phases of distribution.

Following healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities (currently being vaccinated as part of Phase 1A); certain essential workers, people aged 75 and older; and people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps will have access in Phase 1B.

The 1B essential workers will be eligible in the following order:

  1. Police, Fire, and Hazmat
  2. Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  3. Child care/K-12 Teachers/Staff
  4. Food and Agriculture
  5. Manufacturing
  6. Grocery store workers
  7. Public transit workers
  8. Mail carriers (USPS and private)

The local Blue Ridge Health District (formerly the Thomas Jefferson Health District) is compiling a list of all such workers in the district through their employers. There is an online survey for employers to fill out to request vaccines for their staff. Click here to access the survey.

People who are 75 or older may need to make their own arrangements to receive the vaccine once Phase 1B begins.

“Many of the people who are included in Phase 1B because of their age will be offered the vaccine through their healthcare provider,” according to the Virginia Department of Health. “Others in this category will be able to access vaccination through their local health department or through arrangements with healthcare systems and pharmacies.”

There are new details also about who will become eligible in Phase 1C, which has broadly been defined as other essential workers, people aged 65-74 and people with high -isk medical conditions.

Those “other essential workers” are, in order:

  1. Energy
  2. Water and Wastewater
  3. Housing Construction
  4. Food Service
  5. Transportation and Logistics
  6. Institutions of Higher Education Faculty/Staff
  7. Finance
  8. Information Technology & Communication 
  9. Media
  10. Legal Services
  11. Public Safety (Engineers)
  12. Other Public Health Workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a list of medical conditions that would be considered high risk for complications from exposure to COVID-19. Click here to see that list.

The timeline for when each phase will begin is yet unclear, but the local BRHD expects Phase 1B to begin sometime in “early spring” and 1C in “late spring.”

The vaccine will likely be available for the general public sometime this summer.


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