Delaware Enters Phase 1-B for Coronavirus Vaccinations – for Delawareans 65 and Older

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Image courtesy de.gov
Image courtesy de.gov

Delaware has moved into Phase 1-B of its vaccination plan and will begin registering people who are 65 and older at de.gov/covidvaccine. Overall, Phase 1-B includes about 200,000 people and Delaware currently doesn’t not have that much vaccine. Registration consists of answering some simple questions – birthday, name and address, and any medical issues that may pose a problem with coronavirus. When you register, you will be placed on a wait list – and then emailed an invitation to get your vaccine. You will have to reply to that invitation within 24 hours or so – or give up your spot to someone else. As Delaware receives more vaccine – you’ll also have other options to get the vaccine – possibly from your local pharmacy or family doctor.

Image courtesy de.gov

Governor John Carney recently learned that holding back on doses for those in need of their second dose is not needed as the federal government has also kept some in supply for that need. However the federal government also has told states that if their vaccine is just sitting in freezers or on shelves – states could lose some of their allocation to other states that are putting the medicine in arms. Currently Delaware receives 15,000 to 20,000 doses from the federal government each week – which the Governor says is “not enough.” Last weekend Delaware had a large vaccination event at the Dover DMV, where about 10,000 people received their vaccination. And a smaller one at Salesianum, where about 1000 were vaccinated – until they ran out of needles! This coming weekend will be the first large vaccination events for the 1-B group – at the Georgetown and Delaware City DMVs. These are by appointment only.

Several questions were asked during the Town Hall. Dr. Rattay explained that the two vaccines are not interchangeable. When you get your vaccine – you’ll receive a card with the date, which vaccine you received – either Pfizer or Moderna – and when you would need to register to get your second dose. Remember you are NOT fully protected without the second dose. Also, after receiving your vaccine – you wait at the event (or wherever you get your vaccine) for 15 minutes to be sure you have no adverse effects.

She also said that while spouses can use the same email address, they should not sign up together for the vaccine – and likely would not be scheduled for it at the same time either as their ages, medical conditions and the like would be different. They will be checking driver’s licenses to be sure you’re in the 65 and older group. Also – be sure to come dressed so that you can expose your upper arm without having to get out of your vehicle and partially disrobe to receive the vaccine.

Do you need to bring a medical insurance card? While you likely won’t need it at the large vaccine events, if you are going to a pharmacy or your private doctor – it may be needed – and you might incur a cost for the needle or other supplies. The vaccine, however is free.

They are looking for volunteers – who can help with on-site registration, writing down information during each vaccine, etc. If you’re interested – go to the UD Medical Reserve Corps to sign up.