VCU Health CMH receives more COVID vaccines; new vaccine available

SOUTH HILL- The Virginia Department of Health has expanded the eligibility guidelines for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1B to people ages 16 to 64 with a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe COVID-19. Anyone over the age of 65, regardless of health conditions is still eligible for the vaccine.

According to the Virginia Department of Health Mecklenburg County has issued 9,327 vaccines to area residents. At least 5,842 residents included in the total have received their first dose and 3,514 have been fully vaccinated.

The Food & Drug Administration has approved a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The new vaccine has been proven “safe and 100% effective in preventing death from the disease and highly effective in preventing hospitalization. According to the CDC:

  • The J&J/Janssen vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials (efficacy) at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who had no evidence of prior infection 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. People had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated.
  • The vaccine had high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick. No one who got COVID-19 at least 4 weeks after receiving the J&J/Janssen vaccine had to be hospitalized.
  • Early evidence suggests that the J&J/Janssen vaccine might provide protection against asymptomatic infection, which is when a person is infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 but does not get sick.
  • CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more about how well the J&J/Janssen vaccine works in real-world conditions.

VCU Health CMH is offering the vaccine to the public in Phase 1A and 1B through their community vaccination clinic on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning March 12 at the old Community Memorial Hospital Emergency Room on Buena Vista Circle in South Hill. Clinics will continue every Friday “as long as there remains a need for area residents to be vaccinated and the vaccine supply is available”.

Contact the CMH Vaccination Clinic by phone at 434-447-5541 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to make an appointment to be vaccinated. The hospital asks that no messages are left as they will not be returned. 200 limited slots are available per day. Community Memorial Hospital will continue to make appointments as long as there is a need. NO WALK-INS ARE PERMITTED AT THE CLINIC.

“It may take several months for vaccine supply to catch up with demand. Everyone must continue taking important precautions to help slow the spread of the virus. This includes wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, social distancing and limiting gatherings.”