Newport News, VA – Today, our regional healthcare community joined together to create Operation Vaccinate the Peninsula, a collaboration across local health districts, localities, and health systems on the Peninsula. Consisting of the Peninsula and Hampton Health Districts, 6 localities (Newport News, Hampton, James City County, Poquoson, Williamsburg and York County) and Bon Secours, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare, the organizations within this alliance will be operating under a unified command structure to facilitate cohesive COVID-19 vaccination planning, execution, resource allocation and communication.
Vaccination rollout has been confusing at times, both locally and nationally, with different messages across many channels. Through community conversations, leaders on Peninsula heard the call for better communication about and alignment across public and private healthcare partners around COVID-19 vaccination.
Approaching vaccine communication and distribution as a collective will maximize vaccine resources. To combine the strengths of each partnering group, we have created five impact groups within our partnership. Each of these groups will include leaders from the health districts, municipalities, and health systems to ensure success. The groups include:
- Vaccine supply, allocation, and distribution: Collects and shares with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on behalf of the Peninsula about vaccine ordering, anticipated supply, deliveries, and distribution of vaccines. Maintains database of vaccine supply by organization and communicates with managers or coordinators of clinics to ensure adequate supply.
- Communications: Develops and shares information with the Peninsula community via websites, social media, and various forms of traditional media.
- Vaccine clinic development and strategy: Assesses community opportunities for vaccine clinics and vaccine types available and storage requirements when designing vaccine clinics. Considers accessibility for underserved areas and populations to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines across the eligible populations. Collaborates with the Communications group to ensure the Peninsula community is aware of all vaccination options.
- Clinic operations, scheduling, and staffing: Once clinics are scheduled works with municipalities to support operations such as scheduling and staffing.
- Data results and tracking: Assesses the success of vaccination clinics, according to populations vaccinated and clinic location, to continuously improve processes.
As vaccination on the Peninsula continues our top priority is to ensure the community is informed about the current supply and can more easily access the vaccine as they become eligible. This regional initiative will result in more expedient vaccine distribution, support for underserved community members, and clearer messaging about new eligibility and availability.
Our goal is to ensure every community member on the Peninsula has easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine and is able to make the best decision for their good health. As vaccine distribution progresses, all information will be shared through us, using one voice, with the community.
For more information about how to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.