Reston, VA

More than 100 private health care providers in Fairfax County are currently going through the steps to be able to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the public soon, county officials tells Reston Now and Tysons Reporter.

This includes private practices, clinics, and urgent care centers.

This comes on the heels of the county’s announcement late last week that this was set to happen in the coming weeks.

“The process to become approved to administer COVID-19 vaccine requires several steps,” writes a County Health Department spokesperson, “That starts with filing an intent form with VDH, completing a CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Agreement and completing the Fairfax County Health Department’s compliance check.

Of those 100 plus private health care providers, approximately 35 are in the process of completing the Fairfax County Health Department’s compliance check. The timeline for completion differs for each provider, notes a spokesperson.

A “handful” of private providers have completed all of the steps and can now offer the COVID-19 vaccine to their patients. Health Department officials declined to provide an exact number or name of the providers.

Providers won’t be able to choose a specific COVID-19 vaccine to offer to their patients, since vaccine availability is dependent on what the county receives from the Commonwealth.

“We know many residents in our community will be excited to hear that their own health care providers may soon offer vaccine,” Fairfax County Health Department’s Director of Health Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu wrote in the health department’s blog post. “However, we do encourage residents to be patient while more practices meet the state requirements. Once a provider is able to offer vaccine, they will notify their patients directly.”

The county is also asking residents if they do receive the vaccine from a private provider and previously registered with the county’s health department to remove themselves from the waitlist.

In recent weeks, Fairfax County has begun to diversify where residents are able to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

This includes retail pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, and Harris Teeter. Giant is directly partnering with the county to vaccinate off the their waitlist. However, appointments still remain scarce at the retail pharmacies.

In general, vaccinations in the county are moving at a faster pace than last month.

But the county is still struggling to catch up to demand after being the only jurisdiction to opt out of Virginia’s appointment system, with 104,000 people on the waitlist of 326,000 currently registered.

So far, the county had 267,000 people receive at least one dose of the vaccine, about 23% of the county’s total population. About half of those have been administered by the health department.

Appointments are currently being scheduled for those who signed up on January 28 or earlier.

Photo by Karen Bolt/Fairfax County Public Schools

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