Health workers, long-term care residents get vaccinated

December 31, 2020

The LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau health districts announced Dec. 23 that they had begun “Phase 1a” COVID-19 vaccinations.

Those who were deemed first in line for the vaccine were health personnel with direct contact or a high risk of contact with virus-positive patients, along with emergency medical responders, “front-facing” staff in primary care medical offices, dentists’ offices and others providing direct health care.

This week, the health districts are conducting additional Phase 1a vaccinations for those who qualify, including long-term care residents. The events are not open to the general public.

“We are pleased to provide a safe and effective vaccine to health workers in our community,” said regional health director Dr. Eleanor Sue Cantrell. “It’s important to remember that while vaccination will ultimately be the most important mitigating step in addressing the pandemic, we are not there yet. It will be months before vaccine is widely available publicly, so it is extremely important that we all continue to practice the things that we know work to reduce risk. Wear a face covering, don’t gather in groups outside your household members, stay six feet away from people that do not live in your house, indoors and out, and wash your hands thoroughly and often.”


Also on Dec. 23, the state health department announced it had added COVID-19 vaccine data to its website’s COVID-19 Daily Dashboard on two new tabs, Vaccine Summary and Vaccine Demographics. The new information will keep the public informed about the numbers of COVID-19 vaccines distributed and administered. It will be updated daily.

It will take months to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated, the department noted.

The currently available vaccines require two doses, given three or four weeks apart, depending on which vaccine is received. Both doses are needed to prevent or reduce the severity of illness. Individuals should receive the same type of vaccine for both doses. Information entered into the Virginia Immunization Information System will allow providers to know when to give the second dose to an individual and which type of vaccine to give. Providers can also use that information to give individuals proof of their COVID-19 vaccination.

The number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered that is displayed on this dashboard will always lag behind the actual number of doses administered, the department noted.

For more information on COVID-19 and vaccine, visit and