COVID-19 Vaccine Information
The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available to our patients and the general public. Plans are being developed to determine when and how Sentara Healthcare can offer a COVID-19 vaccine to patients and the public. We will provide updates as more information becomes available, so please check this page often.
January 15, 2021
We have been receiving many calls and messages from patients and community members wanting to know when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to them.
We appreciate your patience through this unprecedented time. Our vaccine allocation is managed by the state and distribution is under the direction of public health. At this time, Sentara is vaccinating employees and community healthcare workers in the Virginia Department of Health’s Phase 1a group. There are still many healthcare workers who have not yet received the vaccine, which is why our focus remains on Phase 1a.
- For our patients and community members in Virginia, we encourage you to visit the VDH COVID-19 website that shows which counties are still in Phase 1a, and which have moved into Phase 1b. There is also a survey you can take to find out which phase you are eligible for.
- For our patients and community members in North Carolina, we encourage you to visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 vaccine website to see if you are eligible to receive a vaccine through your local health department.
We are developing plans to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible Sentara Medical Group patients following state priority guidelines. Patients eligible for the vaccine will be contacted directly through their Sentara MyChart account. We ask that you do not call to ask about the timing of your vaccination.
What if I’m not a Sentara Medical Group patient?
We encourage you to stay up-to-date with your local health departments’ guidance. Plans are in development for mass vaccination clinics through local departments of health in regions across the state. Sentara will assist with these efforts in partnership with the state.
Still have questions? Click here to read our Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe by wearing a mask, staying socially distant, avoiding large crowds and gatherings, and washing your hands often.
January 12, 2021
Sentara has invited all staff who are working inside a Sentara facility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is optional and not mandatory.
This week, our vaccine clinics have expanded to Sentara Quality Care Network providers and medical office staff, those working in Ambulatory Surgery Centers and other joint ventures, Velocity Urgent Care employees and some behavioral health clinics. This begins our expansion into vaccinating community healthcare workers who are working in clinical settings and at risk for COVID-19 exposure. We will broaden this scope in phases to additional community healthcare workers who have not yet been offered the vaccine by local health departments. Sentara is dedicated to the health and safety of our community and we are working with VDH and NCDHHS to ensure vaccines are available to our community members in the appropriate phases as quickly as possible.
Highlights from our COVID-19 vaccine clinics:
- As of this morning, our vaccine clinics have administered 16,229 total vaccines.
- 38% of total staff have had the first dose, 10% of staff have had both doses.
January 5, 2021
Sentara Healthcare has received additional shipments of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. We are now in the process of vaccinating all healthcare staff who work inside a Sentara medical facility (including physician offices, ambulatory care sites, etc.).
The COVID-19 vaccine is still not yet available to Phase 1b (members of the community who are essential workers, older adults). Please help us reach the community with this important message. We will continue to send regular updates and will share more information regarding when and how community members can receive the vaccine as soon as it is available. At this time, Sentara is not vaccinating anyone who is not healthcare staff.
December 30, 2020 Update
Sentara Healthcare has received its first shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Sentara Healthcare is offering the COVID-19 vaccine first to healthcare workers with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure.
Sentara's initial supply is limited and vaccines are being shared across the system. Sentara is following recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health, North Carolina Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). These recommendations ensure healthcare workers on the frontlines are first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
With the arrival of the vaccine, Sentara is now offering vaccine clinics in all 12 Sentara hospitals specifically for healthcare workers at those hospital locations. The COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary. Employees are not required to receive the vaccine. Staff who do receive the vaccine will continue to wear proper PPE, including masks, and follow Sentara's COVID-19 protocols.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not available to the community at this time. If you are a member of our community, please do not visit a Sentara hospital looking for a vaccine. We will continue to give you updates as soon as we can on when more supply becomes available.
December 14, 2020 Update
Consistent with CDC & ACIP recommendations, Sentara Healthcare is preparing to offer the COVID-19 vaccine first to healthcare workers with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure. Phase 1 vaccine distribution will include emergency department staff, ICU’s, COVID patient units, respiratory unit staff, cleaning and food service employees who interact with patients, and others. The COVID-19 vaccine will be optional for all employees.
Sentara is expecting to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the first allotment from VDH and VHHA. The vaccine will be shipped to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital initially, stored in the required ultra-cold storage freezer, and then relocated to Sentara Employee Health Clinics at the appropriate time.
Sentara's Employee Health nurses will administer the vaccine to employees based on their exposure risk to COVID-19. Employee Health nurses provide a number of different vaccines to employees year-round and are familiar with the process.
Sentara is currently preparing for Phase 1 vaccine distribution only. Plans have not been made yet on how the vaccine will be delivered to community members. We will keep you updated as we receive more guidance from the state and gain valuable insight from our Phase 1 distribution efforts.