The Fairfax County Health Department has published additional FAQs today, as well as information on your vaccine card and second doses. If you are eligible for the vaccine and waiting for an appointment for either a first or second vaccine, please take a few minutes to review and also share with friends and neighbors who may need this information. My office will continue to provide you with updates as they become available.
Have a good weekend and stay safe!
Updated FAQs From Fairfax County Health Department:
How Much Progress Has Been Made on Scheduling Appointments for People Who Registered on Jan. 18?
As of Feb. 26, approximately 63% of the people who registered on Jan. 18 have either been vaccinated or offered an appointment. Please note that this percentage can change due to data cleanup and people being removed from our waitlist. See more details in the answer below.
Why Does the Number of People Registered on the Dashboard Occasionally Change?
The Health Department is constantly reviewing our waitlist and performing data cleanup to ensure the list is accurate. Sometimes the numbers decline because people on our list have been vaccinated elsewhere and have asked to be removed from our queue. Other times, people are removed due to invalid data entered when they registered (such as entering a date of birth that indicates they are under 16 years old). Please note that nobody will be removed without being contacted first to verify the information was not entered in error.
Periodically, the numbers may rise as we identify issues with registrations not being correctly captured in the system. When this happens, we restore those registrations to the date when the person registered, which affects the numbers shown on the dashboard. That was the case this week for approximately 2,800 total registrations.
What If I Registered Before Jan. 18 and Haven’t Received an Appointment?
Why Can’t I Get the Exact Number I Am in the Queue?
Although appointments are generally scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis based on the date and time people registered, Fairfax County also adheres to Virginia Department of Health guidelines on how doses should be administered. Roughly half of our supply each week is used to vaccinate people 65 and older, and the other half is allocated for people eligible in the other categories, including individuals ages 16 to 64 with a high-risk medical condition; frontline essential workers (such as teachers, childcare staff and public safety employees; and people living in correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
Therefore, it is difficult to provide an exact queue number because some appointments are pulled from further down to the waitlist to meet the requirements above. The routine data cleanup issues discussed above also contribute to queue numbers fluctuating periodically.
Understanding the Dates on Your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
While the availability of COVID-19 vaccine remains limited, the Fairfax County Health Department is providing a number of residents with their second shot. Unlike the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine does require two doses in order for someone to be fully vaccinated. There are some important things to know about getting the second dose:
- The Health Department is currently administering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which should be given three and four weeks apart, respectively.
- When people receive their vaccine at the Health Department, they are given a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, which is just a bit larger than a standard business card. The nurse who gives the shot fills this card out for you. The front side of the card will include your name, date of birth, the manufacturer and lot number of vaccine provided, the date the vaccine was given, and the location.
Once the nurse has filled out the first side of the card, she or he will flip the card over and write down the date when you are eligible for your second dose. Depending on the vaccine, this date will be either three weeks or four weeks later. The date on the back of your vaccination record card is not an appointment date. Rather, it is the date when you are eligible to receive your second dose.
That date on the back of your card is the earliest recommended date to receive your second dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, second doses administered within a grace period of four days earlier than the recommended date for the second dose are still considered valid. The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, if it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose.
If you receive vaccine at the Health Department, you will be contacted four to seven days before the date on the back side of your card to schedule your second dose. Since all vaccine is administered by appointment only, it is important that you wait for the invitation to schedule. Do not show up at the vaccination site without a scheduled appointment. It is possible that you may be invited to get your second dose at a different location where you received your first dose.
- Be sure to bring your vaccination card with you to your second appointment. The nurse will review it, then write in the manufacturer and lot number along with the date when you receive your second dose.
Hold on to your vaccination card or take a picture of it. This is your documentation that you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. Your healthcare provider may request to see it to update your medical health records.