GILES COUNTY, Va. – On Friday, Giles County seniors like Diane Mullis lined up to get their coveted COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are very grateful and very relieved,” said Mullis, a 77-year-old from Giles County.
Dose after dose, about 150 volunteers partnered with the county to vaccinate around 1,000 seniors 75 years and older, with help from Carilion Giles Community Hospital. They hosted a drive-thru clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Giles High School.
“Localities are going to have to step up and try to help I think through this process if we’re really going to get the vaccine out,” said Giles County Administrator Chris McKlarney.
Now that the CDC recommended that Phase 1-b should include people 65 and up, on Thursday, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will follow suit.
“We need people to get this vaccine. it is our only way out of this pandemic,” said Northam.
The New River Valley Health District’s added those 65+ to the list and any adult 64 and younger with high-risk medical conditions
To sign up, the NRV health district launched a website NRVRoadtoWellness.com. Just scroll down and click on COVID-19 Vaccines to pre-register. Individuals in the NRV can also call: (540) 838-8222.
McKlarney said they’re trying to clear up any confusion
“We made this just a strictly call-in clinic because we knew seniors might not necessarily have access to the internet,” said McKlarney.
NRV Health District Director Dr. Noelle Bissell has a reminder: you have to pre-register to get a vaccine and it’s by appointment only. Don’t just show up at a vaccine clinic and don’t try to register if you’re not in Phase 1-a or Phase 1-b.
“It only works if everyone follows the process,” said Bissell.
That way, they can get the vaccine in as many arms as possible for those who need it most.
“I hope it works,” said 77-year-old Narrows native Margery Tellis. “That’s what we need so we get rid of these masks.”