From Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw: Vaccine update for D.C. metro area students
Aug. 13 update: The method for students and employees to register their vaccination status has changed since this letter first published. Students must use the links found on this page. For employees, use the form found on this page. The link below has been removed.
D.C. Metro Area Students,
As of April 18, all Virginians age 16 and older are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine as the commonwealth shifts to Phase 2 and as supply continues to improve. While Virginia is making good progress, we want to offer more specific guidance to students in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, which due to population and differences in how local health districts are managed, are more nuanced.
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continues to administer vaccines across the commonwealth. Virginia residents are encouraged to use the CDC-operated VaccineFinder tool to find locations with a supply of vaccines.
Higher education employees (i.e., GAs, GTAs, and GRAs) – including those who work at Virginia Tech – fall into VDH’s 1c group. If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1a, 1b, or 1c and you do not find an appointment through VaccineFinder that meets your needs, you may pre-register with VDH for a priority appointment and your local health district will contact you within a week to schedule your appointment.
Following are some recent developments:
- On April 18, the Commonwealth of Virginia opened vaccine registration to all residents 16 years of age and older. Please first seek vaccine availability using VaccineFinder.org.
- You may directly schedule appointments at pharmacies such as CVS, Safeway, Giant, Harris Teeter, or Walgreens, and other local clinics and health care providers found via VaccineFinder.
- Phase 1 eligible residents will be prioritized for appointments if you pre-register using the Virginia Statewide Pre-registration System.
- The Tysons area Community Vaccination Center has opened and appointments will be available via VaccineFinder in the coming weeks.
- A VDH mass vaccination site in Prince William has opened and is expected to increase vaccine access within that county.
- If you are interested and able to travel to the New River Valley, first dose appointments are still available this week.
Virginia Tech students and employees who work out of Northern Virginia locations should continue to pay attention to guidance from VDH as well as the health districts of their worksite and their residence, as they may be different. All students and employees are encouraged to follow the vaccination guidance for the health districts most relevant to them as appointment availability may increase at different rates.
Virginia Tech will continue to stay in contact with the VDH and track information from relevant health districts.
Testing is encouraged for students and employees who regularly visit a Virginia Tech site in the D.C. area. The D.C. area surveillance testing is voluntary and is NOT for individuals with symptoms or who think they may have been exposed to the virus.
In the meantime, it is critical to continue following good health guidelines! The CDC has issued preliminary guidelines for fully vaccinated people. These guidelines state that when in public, a fully vaccinated individual should continue following public health guidelines for the safety of our community until restrictions can be further relaxed or lifted. Please stay vigilant and adhere to the university and public health guidelines.
- Avoid Close contact situations.
- Avoid Crowds.
- Avoid Closed, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Wear Masks.
Thank you for your dedication and we appreciate your patience as vaccine availability continues to increase across our state.
Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education