Fairfax County has surpassed the halfway mark for COVID-19 vaccinations, as reported cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus continue to decline.
According to Virginia Department of Health data, 51% of Fairfax County’s population — or 585,447 residents — have now gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. That puts the county in line with neighboring jurisdictions in Northern Virginia, including Loudoun (50.4%) and Arlington (51.2%).
After previously trailing by a hair, the county now has now inched past Virginia as a whole in terms of fully vaccinated residents. 35.4% of the county’s population — or 406,383 people — have received all required shots, compared to 35.1% of the state overall.
Virginia has administered at least one dose to more than 4 million people, or 47.1% of its population. 3 million residents have been fully vaccinated.
With more people getting vaccinated, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 caseload continues to shrink.
While the number of new cases ticked back up to 126 cases on Friday (May 7), the Fairfax Health District reported just 22 cases today (Monday), the fewest since 21 cases came in on Sept. 28.
The county is now averaging 63.4 cases over the past seven days, bringing the case rate down to a level not seen since Aug. 1, when the weekly average was at 60.6 cases after hovering in the 50s and 60s throughout July.
The Fairfax Health District has now recorded a total of 77,422 COVID-19 cases, 4,053 hospitalizations, and 1,104 deaths.
While demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has started to ebb, Virginia’s push to achieve herd immunity could get a boost if federal officials approve the vaccine for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 this week as anticipated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet on Wednesday (May 12) to discuss recommending that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine be approved for 12 to 15-year-olds, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.
Pfizer reported on March 31 that its vaccine has shown a 100% efficacy rate and “robust antibody responses” in a clinical trial with 2,260 participants between 12 and 15 years old, none of whom contracted COVID-19 after getting vaccinated.
The company says it expects to get authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for the expanded use of its vaccine, which is currently approved for people 16 and older, sometime this week.
The Fairfax County Health Department says vaccine will be ready so that parents and guardians can start making appointments as soon as the federal approval comes in.
“The state and local health departments will let everyone know when the vaccine is approved for use among 12-15-year-olds and our appointment scheduling systems will update accordingly,” the FCHD said in a blog post.
Chart via Virginia Department of Health
The school system will offer all students five days of in-person learning in the fall and a limited virtual program for students with documented health needs.
Roughly 109,000 students and staff have returned to school buildings this school year. According to the school division, nearly 85,400 students attend in-person instruction, and more than 80% of those go at least four days a week.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 transmission rates remain less than 1% — even after schools reduced social distancing to three feet.
“We are excited to welcome all students and staff back to our buildings for the in-person experiences that we all missed this fall,” FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said. “We are encouraged and hopeful that learning in the fall will look as close to normal as possible.”
Families who intend to send their kids back for five days of in-person instruction this fall will not have to do anything. Those who want to use next year’s virtual option need to apply by May 21 and include a certification of need penned by a licensed medical professional.
The virtual option is an accommodation for the pandemic and will likely not be offered beyond the 2021-22 school year, according to FCPS.
“While we are busy planning for the fall, we do recognize that some students, in very limited circumstances, may have a documented health or medical need for virtual instruction,” Brabrand said. “Today’s announcement will help ensure that we are able to continue to serve all.”
A new law requires Virginia’s school divisions to provide five days of in-person learning to families who want it this fall. No school districts are not obligated to provide a virtual option.
FCPS joins several neighboring jurisdictions in offering an in-house virtual program to students, including Arlington Public Schools, Alexandria City Public Schools, and Loudoun County Public Schools.
Unlike FCPS, which sees virtual learning as a COVID-19 measure, APS intends to one day permanently incorporate this option into its offerings.
The FCPS Virtual Program will be primarily taught by county teachers and accommodate students with special education needs and those who require English language learning services, but not all specialized programs or courses will be available.
Some courses will instead be offered through the statewide Virtual Virginia platform. FCPS officials initially proposed supporting students who need to remain online by continuing to utilize concurrent learning, where teachers provide instruction to in-person and virtual students simultaneously, but the school board decisively rejected the idea, citing teachers’ frustration with the additional workload.
School officials will decide case-by-case whether virtual students can participate in activities or athletics.
“We will see you in August,” Brabrand said.
Image via FCPS/Twitter
May is only three days old, but the month is already looking good for Fairfax County on the pandemic front.
The Fairfax Health District, which also includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, reported 53 new COVID-19 cases today (Monday) — the fewest since just 33 cases came in on Oct. 7. That brings the county’s seven-day average down to 82.4 new cases, which is the lowest since the weekly average stood at exactly 82 cases on Oct. 21.
However, where the Oct. 21 number was merely a brief dip in what would escalate into the area’s winter surge, this new low for 2021 is part of a decline in new cases that has lasted since April 13, when Fairfax County recorded 231 new cases and averaged 194.4 cases over the past week.
In fact, since dipping from 105.9 cases on April 28 to 98.9 cases on April 29, the county’s weekly average has stayed below 100 cases for almost a full week.
The Fairfax Health District has reported a total of 76,968 cases, 4,022 hospitalizations, and 1,101 deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The downward trend in COVID-19 cases comes as Fairfax County nears a key milestone in its vaccination campaign: almost half of the county’s residents have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the Virginia Department of Health dashboard, which does not include some federally administered doses, 550,553 Fairfax County residents — 48% of the county’s total population — have gotten at least one dose. That is a higher rate than the state as a whole, which has delivered at least one dose to 3.8 million people, or 45.1% of its population.
At the same time, Fairfax County remains a tick behind Virginia overall when it comes to residents being fully vaccinated. 31.3% of the county’s population — or 359,677 residents — is now fully vaccinated, compared to 32% of the state.
Whether Fairfax County can reach that 50% mark for first-dose vaccinations this week remains to be seen.
After finally obtaining enough doses last week to vaccinate everyone who wants the vaccine, the county health department received fewer supplies from Virginia in its most recent shipments. 43,480 first and second doses came in during the week of April 26 to May 2, compared to 67,590 doses for the preceding week of April 19-25.
While Virginia lifted its pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 23, the Fairfax County Health Department had not yet ordered any additional batches of the one-shot vaccine as of April 30, because the county still had a small supply that it was using for its homebound and long-term care programs, according to FCHD spokesperson Tina Dale.
“We would place orders for J&J vaccine when community providers we redistribute to require more vaccine and to replenish our stock as needed,” Dale said.
FCHD Assistant Public Health Emergency Management Coordinator Colin Brody told Tysons Reporter that the J&J vaccine has been reintroduced in the county primarily through local pharmacies, which get their supplies directly from the federal government through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
The county says it is aware that some people may be reluctant to get the J&J vaccine after its use was temporarily suspended due to reports of a few recipients developing a rare disorder involving blood clots.
“However the data reviewed by scientists at CDC and FDA indicated that J&J is a safe vaccine to use,” Brody said in an emailed statement. “We continue to receive inquiries from residents about where they can go to receive the J&J vaccine, especially because it is a single-dose option that provides immunity within 2 weeks of the first and only dose, as compared to 5 to 6 weeks with Moderna and Pfizer.”
Images via CDC on Unsplash, Virginia Department of Health
Virginians who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are officially free to go outside and visit fully vaccinated friends without wearing a face mask.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday (Thursday) that he has amended the state’s public health rules to conform with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that loosens mask-wearing and social distancing protocols for people who are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks have passed since they received their last required vaccine dose.
Released on April 27, the CDC’s new recommendations state that fully vaccinated people face “minimal risk” of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 when engaged in outdoor activities such as exercising or eating outside. They also likely face little risk from small, private indoor gatherings and visits to public indoor spaces with other fully vaccinated people.
The CDC emphasizes that masks should still be worn indoors when unvaccinated people are present, especially if they are at increased risk of severe illness from the novel coronavirus, and in crowded outdoor settings like concerts or sporting events where maintaining social distancing is difficult.
“The CDC’s recommendations underscore what we have said all along — vaccinations are the way we will put this pandemic behind us and get back to normal life,” Northam said. “Our increasing vaccination rate and decreasing number of new COVID-19 cases has made it possible to ease mitigation measures in a thoughtful and measured manner. I encourage all Virginians who have not yet received the vaccine to make an appointment today.”
Touted as another incentive for people to get vaccinated, the new CDC guidelines came out amid news reports that COVID-19 vaccine demand has slowed in some parts of the country to the point where state and local governments are declining shipments.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay told Tysons Reporter yesterday that that has not been the case in the county, which has only just gotten enough supplies to meet demand.
As of April 29, 529,402 Fairfax County residents — or 46.1% of the total population — had received at least one vaccine dose, and 334,568 residents — 29.2% of the population — had been fully vaccinated, according to Virginia Department of Health data, which does not include some doses administered by the federal government.
Statewide, more than 3.7 million Virginians — 57% of the adult population — have now gotten at least one dose, and 2.5 million Virginians are fully vaccinated, or 39% of the adult population, according to Northam.
Fairfax County officials say they will support the new guidelines in Northam’s amended executive order.
“We will continue to follow the guidance put out by the state and follow the data, just as we always have,” McKay said in a statement. “I know everyone is looking forward to seeing their loved ones again without fear of spreading COVID. Getting vaccinated will be necessary to do so however, so I recommend that everyone make an appointment as soon as possible.”
With high school football games nearing an end and spring sports like baseball starting up, Northam also announced yesterday that he has accelerated plans to ease capacity limits on outdoor recreational sports, which are now permitted up to 1,000 spectators, effective immediately.
Northam says he anticipates removing all capacity limits in mid-June “as long as the Commonwealth’s health metrics remain stable and vaccination progress continues.”
(Updated at 9:55 a.m. on 4/30/2021) Fairfax County now has enough supply to vaccinate whoever wants to be vaccinated, the county health department announced yesterday (April 28).
This comes only a week after the county said there wasn’t enough vaccine to meet the new demand from eligibility expanding into with the move to Phase 2. Several days after that, vaccine appointments on Vaccine Finder still remained hard to come by due to the short supply.
But that has now changed, thanks to an increase in supplies at the state and federal levels, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay told Tysons Reporter.
Plus, he says, there are now more providers giving vaccines including grocery stores and pharmacies as well as private practices.
A look at Vaccine Finder reveals that grocery stores and pharmacies across the region have more open appointments than they did last week. The Harris Teeters on Crestwood Heights Drive in Tysons and on Avenir Place in Dunn Loring, for example, appear to have several openings today.
Last week, Fairfax County retail pharmacies received 42,070 vaccine doses as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership. The county was allocated 30,552 doses from the partnership this week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
“However, since pharmacies shift inventory among themselves, the actual number could be different,” the VDH spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.
“The Tysons Community Vaccination Center has a very large capacity — 3,000 people per day,” McKay said. “Paired with other sites throughout the county, it has certainly increased the capacity to vaccinate more people.”
As of yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), the clinic had administered 11,761 vaccinations since it opened eight days ago. That number was expected to top 12,000 by the end of the day, McKay said.
When visiting the facility around 4 p.m. yesterday, First Lady Pamela Northam noted that about half of Virginians have now received at least one vaccine dose. More than 6 million doses have now been delivered in the state, and close to 30% of residents are fully vaccinated.
The Fairfax County Health Department also continues to operate vaccine clinics at the Fairfax County Government Center and George Mason University. Appointments for those sites can be booked through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
With supply and appointments becoming more available, including a potential resumption of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the pause was lifted last Friday, it’s possible that the county could meet the May 31 deadline set last month by both state and federal officials of delivering at least one dose of the vaccine to everyone who wants one.
However, McKay again didn’t fully commit to that target date.
“It is certainly our goal to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” he told Tysons Reporter.
In some places across the country, vaccine supply is so far exceeding demand that mass vaccination sites are closing and localities are actually declining more vaccines.
According to McKay, that is not the case in Fairfax County, but supply has at last met demand.
“For many months, our demand was greater than supply,” he said. “Supply is now available at the level required to vaccinate anyone 16+ in Fairfax. That said, now is the time to get vaccinated.”
Fairfax County is now reporting its lowest seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases since late October.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, the county currently has a weekly average of 115.3 new cases after the Fairfax Health District reported 74 COVID-19 cases today (Monday), including one case in the City of Falls Church.
The last time the county had a weekly average of 115.3 cases was Oct. 30, when the pandemic’s winter surge was just starting to set in.
After ticking up in early April, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 case rate has been on a steady decline since hitting 194.4 cases on average over seven days on April 13.
The Fairfax Health District’s testing positivity rate has also been falling in recent days, dipping below 5% on April 20 for the first time since it was at 4.9% on Oct. 26. The district’s seven-day moving average for positive PCR tests was 4.5% as of April 22, the latest date with data reported from the state.
The Fairfax County Health Department acknowledged that there is a discrepancy between the VDH data and the county’s reported case numbers for the Fairfax Health District. The county dashboard says that there were just 59 new cases today.
“Our data team is investigating,” FCHD spokesperson Tina Dale told Tysons Reporter.
The Fairfax Health District, which includes the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax as well as the county, has recorded 76,376 total COVID-19 cases, 3,940 hospitalizations, and 1,095 deaths over the course of the pandemic, according to VDH data.
In addition to seeing signs that community transmission of the novel coronavirus has been diminishing, Fairfax County learned late last week that providers will once again be allowed to administer Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, whose use was halted nationwide on April 13 in response to reports of a few recipients developing rare blood clots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday (April 23) that the pause should be lifted, saying that the J&J vaccine’s benefits as an effective and generally safe tool for preventing COVID-19 outweigh its known and potential risks.
Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said that providers in the state are now free to resume administering the J&J vaccine, effective immediately.
“This extra scrutiny should instill confidence in the system that is in place to guarantee COVID-19 vaccine safety,” Avula said in a statement. “As with any vaccine, we encourage individuals to educate themselves on any potential side effects and to weigh that against the possibility of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.”
The Fairfax County Health Department says it will follow the federal and state guidance and resume offering the J&J vaccine at its vaccination sites, but it’s unclear when doses become available again.
“We will not receive the J&J vaccine this week since orders for vaccine are made the week prior,” Dale said. “I will not know the status on subsequent weeks until our vaccination team has a chance to meet.”
According to its vaccine dashboard, the county received 67,590 first and second vaccine doses from VDH for the week of April 19-25, an increase of more than 10,000 doses from the previous week. Because the county and its partners have primarily been utilizing the Pfizer vaccine, the J&J vaccine pause had a limited impact on vaccine availability and appointments.
Fairfax County providers have now administered more than 811,000 vaccine doses. 512,645 residents have received at least one dose, and 318,705 residents have been fully vaccinated — roughly 27.7% of the county’s total population.
That puts the county’s vaccination rate slightly behind Virginia as a whole, which has fully vaccinated 2.4 million residents, or 28.7% of its population. 3.6 million people — 42.9% of the population – have gotten at least one dose, and the Commonwealth has administered 5.9 million vaccine doses overall.
Images via CDC on Unsplash, Virginia Department of Health
When early voting began at the North County Government Center in Reston on Saturday (April 24), the crowd of electioneers assembled outside the building dwarfed the number of people casting their ballots inside the building.
The absence of lines contrasted sharply with the 2020 general election, when Fairfax County sometimes saw hour-long waits at early voting sites. This time, the biggest hold-up was the few extra seconds election volunteers needed to sort through 16 different ballots and match them with the right voters.
While not surprised by the relatively muted turnout for the first days of early voting for the June 8 Democratic primary, which started on April 23 at the Fairfax County Government Center before expanding to two satellite locations a day later, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn says it’s too soon to make any confident projections about what early voting will look like in the future.
“Going through a couple of election cycles, I think we need to do that before we can come to any long-term conclusions about how early voting is best done, how to staff it, what resources are necessary,” he said.
Even with a crowded gubernatorial contest on the ballot, the 2021 election cycle likely won’t match the high turnout for last year’s general election, which was buoyed by an especially heated presidential race, but there is already evidence that the Virginia’s new laws permanently expanding the accessibility of absentee voting are paying off.
According to the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project, 63,508 voters have requested mail ballots, and 709 people have voted in person, as of April 24. In comparison, there were just 35,390 early voters in the 2017 primaries, the last time that Virginia had a governor’s race, and that includes 8,815 people who requested mail ballots but never returned them.
Fairfax County has gotten 11,222 mail ballot requests and 68 in-person voters. In 2017, 3,109 people voted early in person, and 1,919 people voted by mail.
Fairfax County Office of Elections spokesperson Brian Worthy attributes this uptick to recent legislative changes made by the Virginia General Assembly, particularly the introduction of no-excuse absentee voting that took effect last year.
“Since the last gubernatorial election, voting by mail has become easier in Virginia,” Worthy said. “Not only can any registered voter do so without needing a reason as was required in the past, but also the law now makes it easy to vote by mail permanently. As a result, the Office of Elections expects to see an increase in voting by mail over time as has happened in other states that have implemented similar laws.”
Legislators took further action to make early voting more accessible during a special session in March, including requiring localities to offer ballot drop-off boxes, permitting absentee voting on Sundays, and suspending witness signature requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, though those laws don’t take effect until July 1.
Early voting is also “way up” in Falls Church City compared to the last gubernatorial primary, according to Director of Elections and General Registrar David Bjerke.
Bjerke told Tysons Reporter on Friday (April 23) that the city had sent out 315 ballots so far, including 176 mail ballots and 139 email ballots to overseas voters, and three people showed up to vote in person that day. The 2017 primary saw just 240 early voters total, even though the Democratic and Republican parties both held elections that summer.
“It’s a huge increase,” Bjerke said. Read More
Officials said that the change would give residents more flexibility and choice, but vaccine appointments remain hard to come by in the county, despite the CDC-managed site saying that the vaccine is “in stock” at a number of retail pharmacies in the county.
The county health department published a blog post earlier today (Thursday) that aims to answer a number of questions it has received about obtaining appointments through Vaccine Finder.
According to the post, when vaccines are listed as “in stock,” it means the provider reported vaccines were available at that location within the last 72 hours. However, it does not necessarily mean that there are available appointments.
When following the prompts on Vaccine Finder to check appointment availability, the site takes you to the individual retail pharmacy’s scheduler.
As of 3 p.m. today, CVS, Safeway, and Costco had no available appointments within a 25-mile radius of Fairfax County. Harris Teeter and Giant similarly came up empty, though their systems check only within a 20 and 10-mile radius, respectively.
The county’s blog post says this lack of available appointments is because the “vaccine supply did not increase to meet the demand that the expanded eligibility created.”
In an email to Reston Now, Tysons Reporter’s affiliate site, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay notes that there are “over 900,000 people over the age of 18 in the Fairfax Health District and as of Sunday, for those who weren’t already, [they] are all now eligible to be vaccinated.”
Retail pharmacies are primarily receiving their supply from the federal government through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership, but both Virginia and county officials told Reston Now that they’re assisting with allocating doses to pharmacies to “maximize footprint, capacity, and accessibility.”
State health officials said that 42,070 vaccine doses were allocated to Fairfax County retail pharmacies this week as part of the federal partnership.
Virginia’s retail pharmacies received 210,180 doses overall, meaning that Fairfax County’s allocation makes up 20% of that total. About 13.5% of Virginia’s population lives in Fairfax County.
The Commonwealth did not yet have allocation information for next week.
Beyond retail pharmacies, the county also notes that they’re providing vaccines to about 50 healthcare providers to “enable residents to get vaccinated through their primary care doctor or somewhere closer to home.”
In addition, there’s the state-run Community Vaccination Center at Tysons, which just opened yesterday (April 20) and is now listed on Vaccine Finder, as well as a clinic at the Fairfax County Government Center that is listed in the CDC’s Vaccine Administration Management System.
A new call center system at 703-324-7404 was implemented last week to assist residents with scheduling appointments, but wait times for callers could be long.
McKay declined again to commit Fairfax County to meeting President Joe Biden and Gov. Ralph Northam’s deadline of delivering at least one dose of vaccine to everyone who wants one by May 31.
“While we understand that is the Governor’s deadline and we will work hard to meet that, it will always be dependent on the amount of vaccine delivered to Fairfax,” McKay wrote. “We have high demand and the ability to vaccinate thousands a day and I look forward to continuing to get shots in arms quickly and efficiently.”
All Fairfax County adults can now get the COVID-19 vaccine — if they’re able to find an appointment.
The Fairfax Health District, including the county, the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, and the towns of Vienna, Herndon, and Clifton, entered Phase 2 of its vaccination campaign yesterday (Sunday), expanding eligiblity to everyone 16 and older.
As part of the transition, the Fairfax County Health Department closed its registration system and is now directing people to use VaccineFinder to locate providers that they can work with directly to schedule an appointment. The department’s call center is also open for anyone who needs assistance at 703-324-7404.
Vaccine Phase 2 Starts April 18:
✔️ All people age 16+ eligible for a vaccine
✔️ New scheduling process through https://t.co/0ytk8SOuYZ
✔️ Phase 1 waitlist and those first/second dose appointments will be finished by @fairfaxhealth
— Fairfax County Government 😷 🇺🇸 🌸 (@fairfaxcounty) April 18, 2021
However, county officials warned that appointments might be difficult to come by initially with supplies falling short of demand. All available appointments at CVS stores in the Fairfax County area, for instance, appear to be fully booked, including in Reston, Herndon, Vienna, and Falls Church.
According to its vaccine data dashboard, the county health department received 55,260 first and second doses for the week of April 12-18, down from more than 65,000 doses the previous week, and that is expected to decline further over the next couple of weeks.
With the county anticipating only 30,000 total doses per week, available supplies are being prioritized for remaining Phase 1 individuals.
As of 10 a.m. today (Monday), the health department has just over 8,000 people left on its waitlist, which stopped taking new registrations at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday (April 17) just before Phase 2 began. The county is currently making appointments for people who registered on April 14 and has registered 436,466 people overall.
A quarter of Virginians have now been fully vaccinated, including 272,533 Fairfax County residents, and nearly 40% have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
While vaccinations have moved forward, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 transmission levels have stayed relatively consistent over the past month. The weekly average has dropped from 194.4 cases on April 13 to 155.7 cases today, but it has remained within that range since mid-March.
The Fairfax Health District recorded 116 new cases today for a total of 75,565 cases over the course of the pandemic, which has hospitalized 3,909 people and killed 1,090 people in the district.
Images via CDC on Unsplash, Virginia Department of Health
The former Lord & Taylor store at Tysons Corner Center will serve as a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site for Fairfax County starting on Tuesday (April 20).
The Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Friday) that the new Community Vaccination Center is being organized by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Health and will be operated by the disaster response companies AshBritt and IEM, which are both under contract with VDEM.
Fairfax County is providing support to the state on the site through its health department and Office of Emergency Management.
Located at 1961 Chain Bridge Road, this will be Fairfax County’s first mass COVID-19 vaccine site, though Inova set up a large-scale facility in the City of Alexandria that is open to Fairfax County residents.
“We are excited that we can offer our residents another large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site, this time in the Tysons area, which is easily accessed by several bus routes and located within walking distance of the Tysons Corner Metro station along the Silver Line,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement.
According to McKay, the Tysons Corner site will be able to vaccinate about 3,000 individuals per day.
“Paired with the other sites we have throughout the county, [this] will greatly impact Fairfax’s vaccination rates and move us closer to herd immunity,” he said.
The county says that it will initially partner with the community vaccination center to finish giving first-dose vaccinations to the remaining individuals on its registration waitlist from Phase 1. As of 2:30 p.m. today, there are about 22,600 people on the waitlist.
The site will subsequently be listed on Vaccine Finder as an available option for all individuals 16 and older to schedule an appointment. Fairfax County plans to join the rest of Virginia in opening vaccine eligibility to the general adult population in Phase 2 on Sunday (April 18).
The county announced earlier this week that it will retire its own registration system once Phase 2 begins. Anyone who hasn’t joined the waitlist by Sunday will use Vaccine Finder to locate available sites and then schedule their appointment directly with the provider, an approach that county officials say will give people more options and flexibility.
Individuals will also be able to contact Fairfax County’s new call center system 703-324-7404 or Virginia’s call center at 1-877-829-4682 for assistance in obtaining a vaccine appointment.
The pace of vaccinations is expected to initially slow down when Fairfax County and all other jurisdictions in Virginia enter Phase 2, due to both the influx of newly eligible individuals and the indefinite halt in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
McKay reported in a newsletter last night (Thursday) that Fairfax County expects to receive just 30,000 doses per week for the next few weeks before supplies increase again later in the spring and summer.
As a comparison, the county health department got 65,710 first and second doses from the Virginia Department of Health for the week of April 5-11, according to its vaccine data dashboard.
“The high demand for vaccination in Fairfax County combined with the available vaccine supply will continue to be a challenge, especially in the initial weeks of Phase 2,” McKay said. “With patience and care, we will get everyone vaccinated.”