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COVID-19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions

West Virginia Residents

I am a West Virginia resident. Where can I receive the vaccine?

Registration

How can I make an appointment for my first dose?

If appointments are available, vaccine POD appointment links will be posted on weekdays at 12pm (noon) at valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations for each location.

Are appointments posted every day?

Depending on vaccine supply, we will post appointment links to valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations by noon each weekday. There will be some days when we do not post appointments because no additional vaccine is available. On these days, we will post that no appointments will be made available, at noon.

What if I don’t have internet access?

A limited number of appointments are available for people without internet access by calling 888-441-5294. An operator will take your name and number and put your name on a list to call back and make an appointment for you. Please be aware that thousands of people are all calling at the same time and wait times may be long. Calling does not guarantee an appointment, as these appointments and those online fill quickly.

How do I register for my second dose?


For those who have already received their first dose: A registration link will be sent to your email using the email address you provided. If you do not have an email address, you will receive a call to schedule your second appointment.

Why do vaccine appointments fill up so quickly?

While Valley Health and our partners can vaccinate thousands of individuals per day, the reality is that we are only receiving around 1,900 vaccines per week for the entire region at this time. Tens of thousands of individuals are all trying to get 1,000 or fewer appointments at any given time when links go live. In an effort to make this a predictable process for residents, Valley Health has released the time that links will go live each day, which means that the appointments fill very quickly by those who are waiting online and are calling our phone lines. The COVID-19 vaccine is an extremely scare resource at this time. Valley Health is heavily lobbying state and federal officials in hopes to get more vaccines, but at this time, our supply for the next month will be very limited.

How does Valley Health get vaccines?

Valley Health receives vaccines from the State of Virginia. The vaccines are purchased from Moderna and Pfizer and then distributed to the health districts. Thus far, the Lord Fairfax Health District has distributed a portion of vaccine to Valley Health to assist in community distribution.

Who owns the COVID-19 Vaccine and how were vaccine Points of Distribution (PODs) formed?

When vaccines initially became available in the United States, Valley Health began preparing for the distribution to healthcare workers. Initially, we developed a vaccine POD at Winchester Medical Center and Valley Health’s other 5 hospitals for healthcare workers. In preparing for the eventual rollout of this vaccine, Valley Health purchased sub-ultra-cold storage to accommodate the extreme cold temperatures that the Pfizer vaccine requires. During this time, Valley Health was involved in the Lord Fairfax Health District vaccine planning effort that included community members and leaders from all over the health district. While Valley Health possessed the pharmacy and clinical capabilities to distribute the vaccine on a large-scale level, we knew we would need additional volunteers and space to make mass vaccination a reality. Together with Lord Fairfax Health District, community leaders and Shenandoah University, a community collaborative effort began to take shape. Through this partnership, The LFHD, Shenandoah University and Valley Health are able to vaccinate up to 1,500 people in a single day. Throughout the region in Warren County, Shenandoah County and Page County, Valley Health has partnered with community members to set up sites that can vaccinate an additional 500-600 people per day at each location.

Why do I need to make an appointment to be vaccinated?

The safety of our community members, staff and volunteers is paramount. Just prior to vaccine launch, a statewide registration system became available for us to use for making appointments and tracking vaccine inventory. For every one vaccine we have on-hand, we are able to create an appointment to attach to that vaccine so that we never run out before the end of the day and we can avoid lines and long waits.

Does Valley Health stockpile vaccine?

Our goal is to move each vaccine as quickly as possible from our possession to an at-risk person’s arm. Valley Health does not stockpile vaccines. Each shipment of vaccine is tracked by our pharmacists, then divided up to be redistributed to each vaccination site. Inventory of vaccine is placed in the online scheduling portal, links are created for appointments and those links are sent out each day at noon. Often, our team is planning for vaccine POD days and recruiting for volunteers while the vaccine shipment is still in transit.

When will the vaccine be widely available?

Valley Health has been on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 for almost one year. Our team members have cared for thousands of COVID-19 patients and have sadly witnessed as people have lost their lives, and their loved ones to this horrible disease. The people behind the vaccine effort at Valley Health, Shenandoah University and the Lord Fairfax Health District are just that—people. We have experienced unprecedented challenges in the wake of this pandemic and our number one professional and personal goal is to see the end of it with this vaccine. We know our residents share this goal. While we don’t know exactly when each person will be able to receive their vaccine, we will keep advocating, asking and working until every person who desires a COVID-19 vaccine, receives one. We ask for your support and patience as we tackle this endeavor together.

What can I do to help my community get more vaccine?

You can write to your state and federal legislators and tell them about our successful community collaborative, and encourage them to send more vaccine to the Lord Fairfax Health District. Our success is only limited by the current supply of vaccine.

If I live in WV or MD but work in Virginia, can I get a vaccine through Valley Health?


Yes, our intent is to keep Virginia open. It is reasonable that if you work in a Virginia school or are an essential worker in the state, we will vaccinate you.

Will I receive a confirmation to confirm my registration?

The only available confirmation comes via email. Please check the email account you entered up on registration.

Why does the registration system ask for my insurance information?

While you are registering, you will notice that the system asks for your insurance information. The insurance section cannot be removed from the registration platform so it has been grayed out. This means that going forward, you should be able to "skip" this section and save and continue the registration process. If you are not able to do so, it may be due to an internet browser issue. We would recommend using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

Do I have to have insurance in order to get the vaccine?


No, you do not need insurance and the vaccine is free.

Vaccine Information

What would exclude me from getting the vaccine?

You may not be able to get the vaccine if you:

  • Are currently having COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have had any other vaccine(s) in the last 14 days
  • Have had a severe allergic reaction that required medical intervention
  • Allergic to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine

Who is eligible to receive the vaccine?


The Virginia Department of Health has authorized the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to populations in Group 1b. Valley Health is currently offering vaccines to certain individuals in Group 1b, including:

  • Individuals 65 years of age and older
  • Police, Fire, and Hazmat workers
  • Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  • Childcare and K-12 teachers and staff

The essential workers in these groups will be notified by their employers regarding their eligibility for the vaccine. For example, teachers will be notified by their school system and receive information about registering for the vaccine. Other individuals in Group 1b will be offered vaccines once supplies become available.

Please check valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations for the most current information about groups that are currently authorized to register for vaccination.

Which vaccine will I be receiving?

The vaccine being administered will depend on the available supply of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine doses. While most sites will initially administer Moderna vaccine, they may switch to Pfizer depending on supply. Information about the vaccine that will be administered will be provided to you at your appointment, in advance of your vaccination.

What side effects can I expect?

A complete list of safety, efficacy, and side-effect information can be found at: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19.

What if I experience immediate side effects and need emergency care?

While allergic reactions and severe side effects are very rare, EMS officials and/or rapid response teams consisting of trained healthcare providers will be on-site in case of a medical emergency at the vaccine distribution sites.

Who will be administering the vaccine?


COVID-19 vaccination efforts in our health district are a partnership between the Virginia Department of Health, Valley Health and Shenandoah University. Licensed clinical professionals from each organization will be administering vaccines and working as health observers. Volunteers from Shenandoah, Valley Health and the community will be assisting with registration and clerical work.

How long will the vaccination process take?

We know your time is important to you and want to minimize wait times as much as possible.
Please prepare to be at the vaccination site for about an hour. All individuals who receive the
vaccine will need to wait at the site for 15 minutes for observation by medical personnel.

Preparing for Your Vaccination

Once I register, will I need to bring anything with me to the vaccination site?

Yes. Please note the following before arrival:

  • Please bring photo ID that indicates in which of the above groups you fall.
    • For example, if you work with a school system, bring your employee ID badge, and if you are 65 and older, please bring ID with your date of birth.
  • Wear short sleeves or a shirt that provides easy access to your upper arm
  • Be prepared for the vaccine process (including registration) to take about an hour

Locations

Where do I go to receive my vaccine?


When registering for a vaccination appointment online at valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations, you will be able to select the vaccine location that best meets your needs. Vaccines are currently being offered at the following locations:

  • In Winchester and Frederick County: at the Shenandoah University James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University, located at: 1188 Ralph Shockey Drive in Winchester. Click here for a campus map.
  • In Shenandoah County: at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, located at 759 S. Main Street in Woodstock. Enter using the North Entrance.
  • In Page County: at Page Memorial Hospital, located at 200 Memorial Drive in Luray. Enter via the main lobby of the hospital.
  • In Warren County: at the Warren County Health & Human Services Gymnasium, located at 465 W. 15th Street in Front Royal.

Hours of operation will vary by location and vaccine availability. Please register for an appointment online at valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations to reserve your spot.

Are the vaccination locations large enough to accommodate necessary social distancing?


Yes, the spaces selected offer sufficient space for appropriate social distancing. Staff will also be on hand to ensure proper social distancing is maintained. By scheduling your appointment in advance for a predetermined time, you are helping to minimize crowd size and prevent long lines.

Information Specific to James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA)

Shenandoah University’s James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University, will serve as the COVID-19 mass-vaccination site in the Winchester/Frederick County area in collaboration with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District. This site is open to all Virginians. Location address: 1188 Ralph Shockey Dr, Winchester, VA 22602. Click here for a campus map.

When can I get my vaccine at Shenandoah?

COVID-19 vaccines will begin by appointment for those in group 1b on Wednesday, Jan. 13. If you aren’t sure which phase/category you fall into, find out on the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

Where do I park at the James R. Wilkins Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University?

Please park in the James R. Wilkins Jr. Athletics & Events Center, Shenandoah University, parking lot at 1188 Ralph Shockey Drive. Click here for a campus map.

I have mobility issues. Will there be someone to assist me?

Wheelchairs will be provided to those who need them upon entrance to the facility.

What entrance should I use to enter the building?

Please use the entrance near the main parking lot. There will be another door for exiting the building. Click here for a campus map.

Will there be signs that tell me where to go?

Yes, signs will be posted in several locations around the building. Click here for a campus map.

Is the events center large enough to accommodate necessary social distancing?

Yes, the 77,000 square-foot space offers a lot of space for social distancing. Staff will also be on hand to ensure social distancing is maintained.

What other activities might be taking place when I get vaccinated?

Shenandoah will be conducting its surveillance testing for employees and students on the opposite side of the facility. Athletic practices might also be held during the time of your vaccination. All student-athletes and coaches will be masked.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, please visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-faq/

If you meet the requirements and would like to register to be vaccinated, please visit: valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations