Jeff Neiburg | Delaware News Journal
Delaware begins vaccinating older adults for COVID-19
The state began administering COVID-19 vaccines to those who are 65 and older. Video provided by John J. Jankowski Jr. 1/19/21
Damian Giletto, Delaware News Journal
The Division of Public Health said it contacted 11,500 older adults Thursday offering appointments for vaccination events this weekend in Delaware City and Georgetown.
The events are Friday, Saturday and Sunday and are by appointment only for people aged 65 or older who registered.
In addition to the 11,500 older adults, the state also plans to vaccinate 2,000 phase 1A health care workers during the Saturday and Sunday events. Health care personnel must have appropriate documentation from their employer or DPH.
Those contacted Thursday met the higher-risk criteria. Emails came from the Vaccine Administration Management System created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use in multiple states, DPH said. The email contains an individualized link and instructions.
The emails issued Thursday may say “your organization or employer designated you in a priority group for vaccination” even though people submitted their own requests.
“This is not a scam,” DPH cautioned in its press release.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, more than 73,000 people have registered online to be vaccinated. The online registration that launched Wednesday morning is open only to people 65 and older. More than 56,000 people signed up on the first day the online tool was available.
Those who schedule an appointment receive a confirmation email with a QR code they can print or show on a mobile device at the vaccination event, eliminating the step of filling out an immunization reporting record form. This pre-submitted information will also expedite reporting to the DelVAX system used to track vaccinations.
Some older adults without computer access who utilized the DPH call center to make their request were called back Thursday to arrange the appointment if they met the risk criteria, DPH said.
MORE: Delaware is moving into next vaccine phase: What to know
The press release also urged people to check their spam or junk folders for the email from VAMS.
DPH said it was reminding people that they must wait to receive an appointment invitation for a vaccination event listed in VAMS. A place on the waiting list does not secure a spot for a vaccination anywhere else.
A list of pharmacies and medical providers accepting public requests for vaccination was added to de.gov/covidvaccine Thursday by following the link “Find Where to Get Vaccinated.”
As of midnight Wednesday, the state had administered 54,760 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. It has 34,765 doses on hand, according to the online vaccine tracker.
Gov. John Carney said this week that vaccinating this upcoming group of 200,000 front-line workers and people age 65 and up will be hard because the state receives around 15,000 to 20,000 doses per week.
“Just do the math,” Carney said. “We’re not going to have enough to do every (person) 65 and over tomorrow.”
Tips for those attending a weekend event
- The events are by appointment only for persons 65 and older who received an invitation or for phase 1A health care personnel. Anyone without an appointment, or for health care workers, appropriate documentation, will be turned away.
- Each person should bring their appointment confirmation with QR code or documentation of phase 1A status, along with a photo ID.
- Attendees are reminded to dress in appropriate clothing so that your upper arm can be exposed, including not getting out of the vehicle at a drive-thru event to remove a coat or shirt.
- Anyone who has received a flu, shingles or other vaccination within the last 14 days cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine until 14 days have passed.
JUMPING THE LINE: People outside Delaware’s highest priority group were vaccinated at DMV drive-thru clinic
Contact Jeff Neiburg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jeff_Neiburg.