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Portsmouth begins Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccinations

The City of Portsmouth announced the city would begin Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccination distribution on Tuesday, Jan. 26. People can call, email or sign up online.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The City of Portsmouth began Phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccination distribution on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

That opens up doses to people older than 65, people who have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of serious cases of COVID-19, and certain frontline essential workers.

In Portsmouth, essential employees should schedule their vaccinations through those employers. The health department is coordinating with eligible workplaces to get proper contact information for appointment scheduling.

People who are eligible for the vaccine due to their age or medical conditions have three options to schedule a vaccine appointment:

  • complete an online survey from the Portsmouth Health Department
  • call 757.405.1800 
  • email phd.info@vdh.virginia.gov

Dr. Lauren James, the Portsmouth Health Director, said vaccines aren't available to the general public yet.

"Our goal is to offer vaccination to our community in a fair and equitable manner”, James wrote in a release. “Once we have a large amount of the community vaccinated we hope that our businesses, schools and communities can re-open in a safe way.”

RELATED: Hampton Roads Planning District Commission requests Northam's help increasing rate of vaccinations

To show proof of eligibility at the vaccine distribution site, people will need to bring an ID, such as a driver's license, and could need to bring a work ID, if their jobs are what make them eligible.

Vaccinations will still be made available to residents who were eligible to get their shot in Phase 1a.

Here's a general list of people who can get the vaccine in Phase 1b:

  • Anyone aged 65 or older
  • people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters or migrant labor camps
  • people between the ages of 16 and 64, who have an increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions
  • police, fire and hazmat workers
  • corrections and homeless shelter workers
  • childcare/K-12 teachers/staff (public and private)
  • Food and agriculture (including veterinarians)
  • Manufacturing workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Mail carriers (USPS and private)
  • Public-facing government workers (judges, etc.)