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(Newport News, Va.) Effective Monday, April 5, the Virginia Department of Health’s Peninsula and Hampton Health Districts will move into 1c COVID-19 vaccinations. The districts will continue to prioritize vaccination for anyone in Phase 1a and 1b who registers to receive it. Overlap of vaccination of phases may occur to ensure people in each phase are vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible.All localities and health systems, along with the Health Districts comprise Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula, encourage essential workers in the 1c group to pre-register. Scheduling of workers in the 1c group will begin on April 6, 2021. Pre-registered members of 1a and 1b will continue to be prioritized.“Hampton & Peninsula Health Districts are now expanding access to all phase 1 individuals,” according to Dr. Natasha Dwamena, MD, MPH, FACOG, health director for the Peninsula and Hampton Health Districts. “Both districts will continue ongoing outreach efforts to provide access to the vulnerable populations in our communities that may still remain unregistered but want to be vaccinated.” Outreach continues through “Vaccinate Virginia” outreach workers, multi-lingual messaging and the work of the GOT Vaccine Collaboration and the Williamsburg-area Community Collaboration. As vaccine supply increases the number and diversity of vaccination sites grows. The health districts and the health care systems provide vaccine to the four locality Points of Distribution (PODs), pharmacies, medical groups and special equity clinics. Other pharmacies receive vaccine as participants in the Health and Human Services federal program. Every available resource is devoted to putting vaccine in arms. “Our priority is to inform the community about when and how they can receive their vaccine, and we encourage everyone in the community to get vaccinated once eligible,” said Mike Dacey, M.D., president and COO of Riverside Health System. “As healthcare leaders across the Peninsula region, we are working together to provide easy access to vaccine updates, clinic options and scheduling for our communities.”Phase 1c includes other essential workers in energy, water, wastewater and waste removal, housing and construction, food service, transportation and logistics, institutions of higher learning, finance, information technology and communications, media, legal services, public safety and public health. All phases are identified in detail at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.Vaccines are available by pre-registration and appointment. To pre-register, or to update your pre-registration record, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682). English and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available in more than 100 languages. For TTY, dial 711. For updates, check www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/. For local updates visit https://bit.ly/operationvaccinatethepeninsula.Contact: Irene Ferrainolo Phone: 757-594-8933