COVID-19 Vaccine Banner

Important Announcements

    • May 3, 2021 - Vaccine Opportunity for RPS Families & Staff - On Wednesdays, you can walk up to George Wythe High School (4314 Crutchfield Street) from 11am-4pm and get the COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment. All walk-up events at George Wythe will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is authorized for individuals age 18 and older.

    • April 27, 2021: Richmond and Henrico residents are now able to directly schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for Richmond and Henrico Health District events without pre-registering. All residents who are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, no matter what Phase they are in, will now have two options to schedule an appointment:

      1. Visit vax.rchd.com to directly schedule an appointment at one of our local vaccination events, or

      2. Schedule an appointment over the phone by calling (804) 205-3501, Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm.

      Additionally, residents can visit VaccineFinder.org to find most of the places that offer vaccines in their area. Individuals without internet or phone access can get assistance inside Henrico and Richmond Public Libraries through utilizing their free internet access and on-site librarian support.  

      RHHD will continue to monitor the state’s pre-registration system at vaccinate.virginia.gov and offer appointments to any remaining pre-registered individuals.

    • April 22, 2021: Virginia entered Phase 2 of the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout. In Phase 2, everyone 16 years and older is eligible to receive the vaccine, which includes many of our high school students. Currently, individuals who are 16 and 17 years old only qualify for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are NOT approved for those below 18 years of age. To schedule a vaccination appointment, please register at www.vaccinate.virginia.gov. For additional vaccine availability, contact your primary care physician or check the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership for appointments at participating pharmacies. Note: Parents must be present at the vaccination appointment for minors. For additional resources and FAQs about the vaccine, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.
  • VA Department of Health Hotline:
    877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343)

    vaccinate virginia

     

Vaccine Opportunity for RPS Families & Staff

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.
If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Eligibility & Access

    • Are RPS contractors, interns, substitutes, and teacher residency students eligible for the vaccine?
      • These individuals are technically eligible under the current phase 1b to receive the vaccine. However, the priority is to vaccinate staff working in-person to provide essential services. Further updates on eligibility will be shared in the near future.

    • What about those of us who are currently working face-to-face with RPS students in the Facilitated Learning Centers? Will we be included in the vaccinations?
      • Facilitated Learning Center employees are eligible for the vaccine. Please contact RPS Nurse Na-Keisha White at nwhite@rvaschools.net  with any questions about registration.

    • When will RPS stuednts and families be eligible for the vaccine?
      • This depends on vaccine availability. Further updates on eligibility will be shared in the coming months.

    • Are RPS volunteers eligible for the vaccine?
      • Not at this time. Further updates on eligibility will be shared in the coming months.

    • I am pregnant and cannot get the vaccine until August. Will RPS be offering vaccines again to employees around that time when we are due to go back to school?
      • Everyone who wishes to get vaccinated will have the opportunity to do so and there will be ongoing vaccination events throughout the year.

    • Should those of us who are teaching remotely wait and let the staff working in person go first?
      • At this time, staff working in-person to provide essential services are being prioritized. Staff working remotely will have an opportunity to register for the vaccine in the near future.

    • Can you get this vaccine from your own doctor?
      • Doctors’ offices are eligible to become vaccine providers. Please check with your doctor’s office.

    Registration & Vaccination Process

    • How do I register and schedule an appointment for the second dose?
      • You will register for your appointment to receive your second dose via email notification from the Virginia Department of Health or Richmond City Health District after receiving your first dose.

    • Is it possible to schedule the vaccine for a later date than currently being offered? Are there any dates in February or March that I could register for instead?
      • Vaccination events will be ongoing throughout 2021.

    • Are there any alternative forms of ID to prove RPS employment status if you don’t have your RPS ID?
      • An RPS ID is not required. Please bring a valid, government-issued ID to your appointment.

    • What is the vaccination area set up? Drive-through, inside? Will I need to get out of my car?
      • The current vaccination location is in the Old Dominion Building at Richmond International Raceway. After arriving, you will be instructed to park your car and enter the Old Dominion Building. You will be checked-in and directed to a nurse for vaccine administration. Most patients will be able to leave immediately but if you are at-risk of allergic reactions or other medical complications, you will be required to wait for 30 minutes after receiving your vaccination to ensure that you have no adverse reactions to the vaccine.

    • There are no appointments available. Will there be more time slots added?
      • More appointments and time slots will be added to the online registration system as more vaccine doses are received in the coming weeks.

    • Can the shot be given in the hip?
      • No, the recommended administration site is the deltoid musical of the arm.

    Vaccine Information, Safety, & Efficacy

    • Which form of the vaccine is being utilized?
      • At the vaccination events for staff at Richmond International Raceway, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are being distributed.

    • Will there be an option to choose which form of the vaccine you’ll receive?
      • No, you do not have an option to choose one vaccine versus another.

    • Does the vaccination utilize Messenger RNA Technology or is it a live vaccine?
      • Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were developed using mRNA technology. Learn more here.

    • How long is the vaccination good for?
      • With COVID-19 and many other diseases, if you become sick, your body builds up antibodies that keep you from getting sick again from the same virus -- at least for a while. This is called “natural immunity.” A vaccine gives you the same type of natural immunity -- at least for a while. How much immunity and how long it lasts depends on the disease and on the person. For instance, most people who had measles as a child -- or who got the vaccine -- have immunity for life. COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine are similar. However, we do not know for sure how long the immunity will last.

        After the immunity runs out, you will need another dose of COVID-19 vaccine. In some other types of vaccines, a second shot or “booster” gives immunity for a much longer time than the first dose. In others, like the flu vaccine, you need to get the vaccine every year.

    • What are the side effects of the vaccine?
      • Because COVID-19 vaccines are so new, information on long term side-effects is still incomplete.

        While we do not yet know all of the side effects of COVID-19 vaccination, some people in the trials have had arm pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache or other body aches and some had a fever for a few days. This short term discomfort is the effect of your body developing immunity, and is normal. This discomfort does not mean that the vaccine has given you COVID-19. Even if you experience discomfort after the first dose of vaccine, it is very important that you still receive the second dose a few weeks later for the vaccine to be effective.

        It is possible that a person may already be getting infected with COVID-19 when they get the vaccine but are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. If they later have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for it, that does not mean they got COVID-19 from the vaccine.

    • Does the vaccine protect you from different mutations or strains of COVID-19?
      • COVID-19 vaccine experts are in agreement that the kinds of genetic change mutations seen in the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely to impact vaccine effectiveness. This means that COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be just as effective at protecting people from new variants. Additional information on this new virus variant is available from CDC here.

    • Have there been any adverse reactions to the vaccine?
      • There have been rare reports of people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, who suffered severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylaxis. An allergic reaction is considered severe if it requires hospitalization, or the use of an EpiPen (epinephrine) injection for treatment.

        If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

        There have also been reports of immediate but non-severe allergic reactions within 4 hours after getting vaccinated such as hives, swelling, and wheezing.

        People who have an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—should not receive the second dose of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice. If you have ever had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get that specific vaccine. If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe— to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.

        People with a history of allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet dander, venom, pollen, or latex—may still get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reaction may also still get vaccinated.

        If you have had an allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

        Finally, if you have ANY concerns about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, talk to a healthcare provider. For the most up to date information, see COVID-19 Vaccines and Severe Allergic Reactions on the CDC website.

    • Does the vaccine prevent being infected with COVID or does it just lessen the symptoms?
      • The vaccine is 95% effective at preventing COVID infection once you are fully immunized with two doses.

    Specific Health Conditions

    • How are people with underlying health conditions affected by the vaccine?
      • If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, asthma or obesity, you may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease and you are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect yourself from serious COVID-19 illness.

        Three particular groups of people have special COVID-19 vaccine concerns:

        1. People with weakened immune systems due to HIV or other illnesses or medications can receive COVID-19 vaccine but they should be aware that there is only limited safety data available and that they may have a lower immune response to the vaccine.

        2. People with some autoimmune conditions are also able to be vaccinated but also need to be aware of the limited safety data for people in their category.
        3. People with a neurologic disease history of having previously had either Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy can receive COVID-19 vaccine but need to be closely monitored for the re-development of one of those conditions.


        Additional information on COVID-19 vaccination for people with these conditions can be found on the CDC website here. If you have underlying health conditions, please also consider consulting your primary care physician.

    • How will people with allergies or other underlying medical conditions be monitored after receiving the vaccine?
      • These individuals will be required to wait in an observation area at the vaccination site for 30 minutes after receiving their vaccine to ensure they have no immediate allergic reactions. If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

        For the most up to date information, see COVID-19 Vaccines and Severe Allergic Reactions on the CDC web site.

    • Is the vaccine recommended for breastfeeding moms?
      • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) recommend that COVID-19 vaccines should NOT be withheld from pregnant or breast-feeding women or from other women who intend to get pregnant and who otherwise are in any of the priority categories for COVID-19 vaccination based on the CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations

        While safety data on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy are not yet available (and are now being collected), there is also no data suggesting that these COVID-19 vaccines should be withheld from people in these groups.

        In fact, available data suggest that some pregnant women who get infected with COVID-19 are at greater risk of having a severe form of COVID-19 than non-pregnant women. Pregnant women with some underlying conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, are at even greater risk, as is true in the non-pregnant population.

        Pregnant or breast-feeding women who are considering a COVID-19 vaccination should discuss the potential risk and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines with their doctor or nurse-midwife.

    • I am allergic to shellfish. Is there a vaccine for me?
      • CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies—get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated. Learn more here.

    • Will it be safe for a person who has had Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) to receive a vaccination?
      • People who have had GBS are always told NOT to get a vaccination. People with a neurologic disease history of having previously had either Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy can receive COVID-19 vaccine but need to be closely monitored for the re-development of one of those conditions.

        Additional information on COVID-19 vaccination for people with these conditions can be found on the CDC website here.

Why Should I Get the COVID Vaccine?

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.

A closer look at COVID vaccine safety

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.

Una mirada más de cerca a la seguridad de la vacuna del COVID

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.

¿Por qué debería recibir la vacuna del COVID?

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.