Waiting to get shot (by a vaccination needle)

The Virginia Department of Health reports shots have been scheduled for all of February, and they are now working on March and April.

Shot up lately? With a COVID-19 vaccine dose, we mean.

The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday that 458,472 have received first shots of the two inoculation dosage and 64,381 have had their full dosage of two shots.

Hospitals vaccinated 241,170 shots, 120,020 came from local health departments, 61,760 were administered at long term health facilities (nursing home and extended-care), 39,239 at medical practices, 46,457 by “other community providers” and 14,027 at pharmacies.

As of Monday, an average of 21,823 doses were administered daily.

The last time I received a shot for a widespread virus was one for polio back in the more than 60 years ago. Of course, we also had shots for smallpox and other illnesses too in those days.

VDH reports their main problem in getting people vaccinated is the limited availability of the vaccine. As of Monday, 1,105,700 doses had been distributed. Virginia has more than 8.5 million residents.

The health agency reports that all available vaccines have been scheduled for February for those over age 75, and they are now setting up appointments for March in the phase 1b category, which includes frontline essential workers over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions.

After getting a first shot, the second one should be administered in about 30 days.

For more information and to preregister, we recommend checking the New River Valley Health District task force website.

Getting a first shot provides some immunity but health officials recommend continuing to wear masks when out in public or in grocery stores, pharmacies and other establishments even after getting the shots until there is a public announcement that such measures are no longer necessary.

Most health experts expect vaccinations to continue into at least the summer or into the fall and studies are examining the effectiveness of the vaccines on COVID-19 mutations and variants that have appears worldwide and in the United States.