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Chesapeake Health Dept. asks private practices to help with vaccine distribution

Chesapeake Health Department officials are asking private practices to lend a helping hand when it comes to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The second largest city in the Commonwealth is asking for help when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Chesapeake Health Department officials are hoping private practices will lend a hand to help vaccinate people in the city when more doses become more available. 

This comes as Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that the rollout process needed to become faster.

RELATED: Northam: vaccine estimations more than what is reported in dashboard data

“We don’t have any control over when we get the COVID-19 vaccine, how much is being manufactured, anything. We do a way to make sure once it gets here that it gets out as fast as possible,” explained Kimi Stevens.

Stevens is a spokeswoman for the Chesapeake Health Department. 

She said the department started a new program asking private practices in the city to sign up to become COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites. In return, the health department will help them access all the government paperwork that comes along with providing the vaccine. 

She said distributors don’t have to be only primary care providers. There is a large range of private practices that can assist, including dentists and physical therapists.

“The additional burden of the system, process, paperwork, policies, CDC, and budget is overwhelming to many," Stevens explained. "Doctors like doing what doctors do, and this is an administrative offering competent for free.”

Stevens said the Chesapeake Health Department is the only local health district offering this service. She believes it will decrease the burden on workers at the health department. 

“The more vaccinators that are available here in Chesapeake, the faster the vaccine will get to the people,” Stevens said. “You can only do so many people at a time. If we must do everyone here at the health department, it’s going to take a while for people to have access to that shot, because we can’t have 130,000 people show up at once.”

Stevens calls it a win-win. She hopes everyone can work together to vaccinate people in Chesapeake. 

If you are in private practice and want to help, call 757-382-8631