VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — There are a lot of questions about how to get the vaccine through your local health department.
13News Now has answers to the top five questions people are asking in Virginia Beach.
Health Departments across Virginia have limited vaccine supply, and Virginia Beach is no different.
“We are receiving about 5,000 doses of the vaccine each week,” said Virginia Beach Department of Public Health Emergency Manager Bob Engle.
He said after people pre-register, their number one question is:
When will I get vaccinated?
“We are asking people to be patient,” Engle said. “If they have a confirmation email that they are in that portal, they are there. Their entry is date timestamped. They are in line.”
Engle said more than 72,000 people have preregistered. Now they need to wait for a new email to schedule the appointment.
How are health officials prioritizing everyone, and where do seniors fall on the list?
They’re following guidelines for Phase 1A and 1B. They split senior slots by age range.
“We take 50 percent from the group that is 65 to 74, we take the other 50 percent from over 75 to make sure there is equity between the two age groups,” Engle said.
Can I pick my vaccine?
Engle says no.
“They want Pfizer or they want Moderna... we really can’t manage that in an equitable way,” Engle said. “When we assign somebody up to that clinic, whatever that clinic has to offer, they either have to be willing to accept it or decline that clinic. And they will just have to wait for their turn to come back up again for the next clinic.”
Can more than one person use the appointment link I got in my email?
A glitch in the system allows people to share it, but Engle said that link is just for you.
“In the email that goes out, we specifically say do not forward this email, or do not use this link for multiple people,” Engle said.
When people share the link, it messes up appointments for others.
“In a recent clinic we had over 200 people we had to turn away,” Engle said.
What should I bring to my appointment?
The appointment confirmation form is key. Officials prefer you also bring the original invitation email.
“To show they did receive that email from the health department with that link,” Engle said.
When it’s finally your time to head to the convention center and get the vaccine, officials ask that you only arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your appointment time. Any earlier, and they say it creates delays for other people.