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Virginia Beach City Council to discuss timeline, priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution; 240 EMS workers vaccinated so far

Distribution started last week and more clinics are scheduled for this week.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach city council will meet Tuesday to discuss efforts to administer the coronavirus vaccine.

Vaccination efforts are behind schedule nation-wide. Clinics started in Virginia Beach just last week.

The city’s Public Health Department’s Emergency Coordinator Bob Engle said the city has vaccinated 240 EMS workers.

“There is a need to get this vaccination into as many arms as possible, as fast as we can," Engle said. “The scale of this, as everyone knows, is enormous. There’s a period where we have to get ourselves ramped up. That’s where we are for these first couple of weeks.”  

Public vaccinations, starting with seniors, are set to begin at the end of this month or the beginning of next month. The goal is to vaccinate one thousand people this week in the priority groups. 

“Tomorrow I’m hoping to do 500 vaccinations and also on Thursday 500 vaccinations," Engle said. “And we’re actually conducting clinics on Tuesday and Thursdays, throughout January.”  

A vaccination timeline on the city’s website will be discussed at Tuesday's city council meeting. It puts Virginia Beach in the first phase of vaccinating its first workforce priority group, which is healthcare workers. Essential workers are up next.

“Firefighters, police, critical infrastructure for the city. And then, frontline workers such as grocery store workers," Engle said. “The senior citizens will be towards the end of January, beginning of February." 

The order of priority is in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control regarding who should be first to get the vaccine. 

Engle added, vaccine supplies are arriving as scheduled.  

“We’ve requested 1,000 one week and 1,500 another week. We’re getting all the doses that we have requested," he said. "I don’t see that as a problem in Virginia Beach.” 

Vaccination clinics in the city will be held every Tuesday and Thursday this month, by invitation only, for those in the scheduled priority groups.