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Health Officials Await Word on Next Phases of Vaccinations

Fairfax County Health Department officials, responsible for administering the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to Fairfax County, the City of Falls Church and Alexandria have told the News-Press that there is as yet no word on when vaccine distribution regimen will extend beyond so-called Phase 1a to Phase 1b and 1c, according to the protocol set up by the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Colin Brody of the Fairfax department said as 4,181 Phase 1a persons in the county and City had been vaccinated with the first of two shots as of Dec. 28, “It will be a few more weeks” before the vaccines become available to a wider group.

Phase 1a is constituted of healthcare and long-term care facility residents, and Phase 1b is expanded to include all persons over 75, first responders (firefighters and police), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector and child care workers.

Phase 1c, third in line for the vaccine, includes persons aged 65 to 74, persons aged 16-64 with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe illness, essential workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (such as construction), finance (such as bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, public safety (as in engineers) and public health workers.

Examples of healthcare personnel include emergency medical service personnel, nurses and nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff, dietary and food services staff, environmental services staff and administrative staff.