LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg and its surrounding counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell are now in Phase Two -- meaning anyone over the age of 16 is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is a huge accomplishment. We beat most of the state, if not most of the country,” said Dr. Wendy Wilcoxson, incident commander of the Central Virginia Vaccination Task Force.
Dr. Kerry Gateley, the local health director, said that’s in part to the district receiving a steady increase in supply.
“We get, between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, around 12,000 or so doses a week,” said Gateley.
He says it’s unclear when and how much of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the region will get moving forward, so people shouldn’t wait.
“Most of the time it’s because they like the idea of one shot and done; but I would encourage people, given the uncertainty of the supplies in the vaccine, that they not wait. Go ahead and take that vaccine as it’s available right now, ” said Gateley.
In the meantime, health leaders continue to tackle preregistration lists.
Wilcoxson says nearly 30,000 doses have been administered at the regional vaccination site alone since it opened in February. Soon, that pod at Candlers Station Shopping Center won’t be needed.
“The regional pod will probably close for first doses, I’m guessing, around the end of April just because the goal of that was mass vaccination. Once we move past that window, then you will still be able to get vaccinations at the localities and certainly at the health district,” said Wilcoxson.
That would exceed her personal goal of having anyone who wants their first dose to get it before May 30th.
“I expect that we will have [June] where we basically wrap up second doses, and then after that I think our task force will probably wrap up our efforts, and we will turn it back to the health district and localities,” said Wilcoxson.
Health leaders are encouraging anyone who wants the vaccine to sign up as soon as possible.
“It’s a great testament to a community saving itself,” said Wilcoxson.