NEW INFORMATION FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT:
The Fairfax County Health Department has received many COVID-19 vaccine-related inquiries. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions that have been posed by residents over the past few days.
For background, Fairfax County follows vaccine rollout guidance from the Virginia Department of Health. The county is now accepting registrations to get vaccination appointments from health care workers, individuals age 65 and older, and people age 16-64 with a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
How long will it take for me to get a vaccine appointment scheduled if I completed the online form?
As of yesterday, Jan. 20, there are approximately 115,000 people who have registered to get a vaccine appointment. Unfortunately, vaccine supply remains very limited so we ask for your patience as it may take months for people near the end of this waitlist to get an appointment time. There are plans to increase options for vaccine through pharmacies and health care provider offices over time. Read more about what you should know if you have already registered.
I got a message from the county that my appointment has been canceled because there is not enough vaccine. Is this true and when can I get vaccinated?
Fairfax County has not sent out any cancelation notices to people who have scheduled appointments. If you registered to get vaccinated and have an appointment scheduled to receive your first dose, please keep your appointment.
A communication went out on Jan. 15 to everyone who registered for vaccine indicating that due to limited vaccine availability, it may take some time to get an appointment and to please be patient. This message was intended for those people who DID NOT have an appointment scheduled, but it may have inadvertently caused some confusion. Everyone who has previously filled out an online questionnaire will remain registered and you do not need to re-submit information.
I registered, but did not receive a confirmation email, text or voicemail. How do I know if my registration went through?
Those who registered for vaccine before Jan. 18 should have received an email notification to confirm registration. If you have not seen it, please check your spam folder. If you registered on Jan. 18 or later, you will receive confirmation based on the contact information you provide on the questionnaire. For example, if you provided your email, cell phone and home phone, you will get an email, text and phone call. This is just a way to verify that you have successfully completed the form and you are registered with the Health Department to receive vaccine. The Health Department will use your contact information to schedule your appointment when more vaccine becomes available.
Depending on how many people are filling out the online questionnaire at one time, it is possible there will be a lag in notifications. If you feel you successfully filled out the online questionnaire and did not receive any communication within 24 hours, you will soon be able to contact our call center to confirm you are registered and confirm your contact information.
Do I need to get my second dose exactly 28 days after the first dose?
Individuals who received their first dose from the Health Department so far have received the Moderna vaccine. It is recommended that the same vaccine is given at least 28 days after the first dose. Soon, the Health Department will begin offering Pfizer vaccine, which requires that the second dose be given at least 21 days after the first dose.
The same vaccine must be given for both doses. The recommended interval between Moderna vaccine doses is 28 days and between Pfizer vaccine doses is 21 days. If required, longer intervals are acceptable and second doses given within 4 days before the recommended interval also are considered valid, but not preferred.
If you received your first dose from the Fairfax County Health Department, you will receive an email invitation with a link to schedule your second dose during an appropriate window based on the date you received your first dose. You can expect this notification at least 4 to 7 days before the dose is due. You do not need to contact the Health Department to schedule your second dose and you do not need to complete the registration form again.
I got a message from the county about vaccine supply while I’m on the waitlist and it included a link that said “click here to confirm receipt of this text/email.” If I didn’t click that, did I lose my place in line? Do I need to reregister?
If you did not click that link or if you clicked it later and got an error message, that is ok and you don’t need to do anything else. You are still registered in our system and on the waitlist in the same order in which you were originally entered. That confirmation system is optional.
I filled out a “When Can I Get Vaccinated” form on the VDH website? Does this mean I’m registered in the Fairfax County system to get an appointment?
No, you still need to register to get an appointment with Fairfax County by completing our online form. The form available on the Virginia Department of Health’s website allows residents to see which phase people fall in to.
VDH includes this language as you complete the form: “Submission of this form does NOT reserve a COVID-19 vaccine. The information collected in this form is used for the sole purpose of the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The information provided in this form will be used to determine COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and to plan vaccine administration.”