Vaccines: Allocation & Distribution
This week, BRHD will receive
  • Moderna: 1,500 first doses & 1000 second doses
  • Pfizer: 2,340 first doses
  • Johnson and Johnson: 4,000

This allocation does not include how many vaccines UVA Health will receive. Virginia has now separated vaccine shipments so vaccines will go directly to Health Systems.

Unfortunately, our supply of COVID-19 vaccines remains limited this week, despite our numerous requests for an increase in supply. We are unable to meet the demand for the number of people in our District who currently qualify for a vaccine. BRHD is continuing to vaccinate individuals in Phase 1A, and 1B essential workers, individuals over age 65, and individuals ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions. 

We are excited to announce that all 65+ residents of BRHD who have pre-registered for a vaccine at vaccinate.virginia.gov may call the UVA Health vaccination hotline at 434-297-4VAX to schedule an appointment at Seminole Square. UVA Health will continue to reach out to all registered 65+ residents via email and phone call until all those who wish to be vaccinated have appointments. Remember - 65+ individuals MUST be registered at vaccinate.virginia.gov in order to be eligible for Seminole Square appointments. Thank you to UVA Health for their ongoing support!
New Resources: BlueRidgeCOVID.org
The Blue Ridge Health District, in partnership with Redlight Management, is excited to announce the launch of BlueRidgeCOVID.org. The website serves as a portal for COVID-19 resources within the District and includes information on vaccine pre-registration, Frequently Asked Questions, job opportunities, case and vaccine dashboards, and more. Easy-to-follow icons guide users to a number of resources from the Blue Ridge Health District, Virginia Department of Health, and community partners. The website is available in both English and Spanish.
Successes: Phone Banks & Community Clinics
The Blue Ridge Health District has partnered with Delegate Sally Hudson, candidate for the House of Delegates, Jennifer Kitchen, and the UVA School of Nursing to call community members to ensure they are pre-registered for a COVID-19 vaccine. Volunteers are calling registered voters over the age of 65 to assist them in pre-registering for a vaccine appointment over the phone.

So far, the volunteers have contacted over 1,200 people in Charlottesville and Albemarle over several phone bank sessions. The organizers, who can fluently communicate with residents in 19 languages, plan to expand to more counties within the Blue Ridge Health District soon.
Photo Credit: Heywood "Woody" Greenberg
On Saturday, March 6, 2021, the Nelson Heritage Center (NHC) in partnership with the Blue Ridge Health District and UVA Health, hosted its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Heritage Center in Arrington, VA. The event was organized by volunteers of the NHC with the intent of making vaccines convenient to a population that was being underserved due to distance to vaccine sites, lack of technology to sign up, negative history of African Americans being vaccinated by the U.S. government and lack of transportation. At the conclusion of the clinic, 302 individuals received their first vaccine and will receive their second vaccine on April 3 at the NHC. The NHC in conjunction with the BRHD plans to host vaccine clinics through May 2021.

The possibility of the vaccine clinic at the Heritage Center grew out of the experience of two members of the Heritage Center attending a mass vaccine clinic in Charlottesville, VA and noticing that hardly any African Americans were in line for the vaccine. Through coordination with the BRHD the vision grew to host vaccine clinics at the NHC. It was inspiring and uplifting to see the happy and thankful individuals who came through to receive the vaccine. Never has hard work been so rewarding as to partner with an organization like BRHD and provide a service to the community that could save their lives.
Vaccination Locations: A New Site Opens
On Tuesday, March 23, BRHD opened our new vaccination site in the former JCPenney store in the Fashion Square Mall (1639 Rio Road E, Charlottesville, Va). This new location allows BRHD to operate up to five days per week at an increased appointment capacity. Vaccine clinics will remain by appointment only, serving primarily individuals in 1A, 1B workers, and individuals ages 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions. We are continuing our partnership with UVA Health vaccinating individuals ages 65+ at the Seminole Square site. 

For helping us launch our new mass vaccination site, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Richard Hewitt, the owner of the former JCPenny space, Tim Slagle with Seminole Trail Properties, Albemarle County, and the Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle County Emergency Communications Center. 

Both the UVA Seminole Square (393 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville Va 22901, between the Marshalls and Ferguson stores) and BRHD JCPenney locations remain open for vaccine appointments. Our Kmart vaccination clinic is now closed, with appointments having been moved to the JCPenney site. 
Resources: Quit Smoking Now
There is no shortage of stress these days and for many tobacco and nicotine users, stress is a trigger to smoke, dip, or vape. Nicotine is a mood-altering drug that tricks the brain into thinking it has a calming effect. However, in reality, nicotine raises stress levels and leaves the body feeling worse than before the initial rush of nicotine. 

Even more, the use of tobacco increases the likelihood of more severe outcomes from COVID-19 infection. Tobacco use lowers the lungs’ ability to fight off and heal from infection and disease.

While the journey to get there is often challenging, quitting tobacco actually reduces stress in the long-term, and especially during a pandemic, helps improve overall health outcomes. Join us for our Quit Smoking classes to learn more about how you can quit using tobacco and nicotine products successfully! 
Free COVID-19 Testing in BRHD
While we work to vaccinate the District, BRHD continues to offer free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Each event will have the capacity to test 200 persons: 100 pre-registered clients and 100 walk-ins.

Beginning Friday, April 2, BRHD will offer free pediatric COVID-19 testing for children ages 6 years and up. These tests will be offered as part of the Friday testing events at Buford Middle School (1000 Cherry Ave Charlottesville, 22903). Pediatric testing will be available from 5:30 - 8:00pm.

For a complete list of free drive-thru COVID-19 testing events in April, visit the BRHD website.
Remember, vaccination is only one tool to end the pandemic. We need to use them all in order to return to normal day-to-day activities, once 75% of the population is fully vaccinated. Continue to wear face masks, maintain physical distance, wash hands frequently and properly, and limit indoor social gatherings with other households.