Local Health Care Workers Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Local health care workers received the COVID-19 vaccine late last week in Reston, joining nearly 500,000 people who are in the state’s priority group for vaccinations.

Just before the New Year rang in, health care workers were given doses of the vaccine at the Herndon-Reston District Health Clinic.

“It’s exciting. It feels good to be a part of history,” said Tiffany Laseter, a nurse who has been administering the vaccine.

Fernando Benitez told Reston Now that the vaccine was the easiest shot that he has received.

According to Christy Gray, the director of the Virginia Department of Health’s immunization division, the state has received 285,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Overall, Gray anticipates that the state will receive 100,000 doses of the vaccine on a weekly basis, a process she described as a ‘moving target’ and depends largely on the speed of vaccine manufacturing.

A federal allocation process outlines how and when vaccines are administered. In December, the county began distributing vaccines to health care systems and local health districts began offering the vaccine to first responders and health care workers.

Half of the state’s allocation is meant for long-term care facilities and will be administered through CVS and Walgreens.

The first phase of the vaccine is expected to cover 500,000 people. Following the priority group, the state will administer the vaccine to frontline essential workers and Virginians above the age of 75. Details on the state’s overall plan are expected this week.

Staff photos by Jay Westcott

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