UVA Health doctor breaks down the different COVID-19 vaccine phases

UVA Health doctor breaks down the different COVID-19 vaccine phases

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As many people wait to get the coronavirus vaccine, some are wondering who qualifies for the shot now and when can you get one. One doctor at UVA Health says the process will take time.

“Currently we are in Phase 1A. It’s a good thing to know that these phases were developed by the CDC to delineate the phases of vaccination. Phase 1A includes all healthcare workers and persons that are residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes,” UVA Health Infectious Disease Doctor Costi Sifri said.

According to the Virginia Department of Health’s Prioritization Guidance, people who qualify for Phase 1A are those who interact with COVID-19 patients, people who work in dialysis residential care facilities, EMS workers, workers in health system facilities, all other healthcare personnel, and more.

NBC29 reached out to the Virginia Department of Health regarding the next vaccination phases. A spokesperson responded, “There is no set deadline to transition between phases. Various factors will be considered, including pace of vaccinations and vaccine availability. VDH will do education and outreach during transition. There may be some overlap during transition between phases.”

Sifri says Phase, 1B is made up of two groups: “The first are persons age 75 or older. The second group are people that are called frontline essential workers. So these include people like first responders, firemen, policemen, people who are working in essential industries that are not able to socially isolate that have to work closer than six feet.”

Phase 1C, Sifri says, includes those who are between the ages of 65 to 74 and others.

“That includes people that have medical conditions that would place them at increased risk for COVID. In addition, it also includes workers who are also important. They are essential, but are able to better socially isolate compared to the front line essential workers,” Sifri said.

A spokesperson for the Blue Ridge Health District said it is still waiting on guidance from VDH about the rest of the vaccination phases.

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