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The spread of the coronavirus vaccine is reaching its next phase in DC, Northern Virginia

“The coronavirus vaccine is free,” Bowser (D) told a news conference Monday. “Those who are insured will not be charged extra. Those without insurance will not be charged or rejected. ”

President-elect Joe Biden says his “number one priority” is to distribute vaccines, as he received the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on January 1
1 (The Washington Post).

The district administered 26,672 doses of vaccine during its first round of inoculations, which included health workers and first-line emergency workers. An additional 18,753 doses allocated to this group have not yet been administered.

The city expects to receive about 8,300 doses of vaccine this week for the next round of inoculations, which will take place below three levels.

The first level will include residents aged 65 and over, people and staff in general conditions, such as group homes and shelters for the homeless, correctional staff and non-health staff supporting the operations of coronavirus vaccination clinics.

The second level will include prisoners in correctional and detention centers, law enforcement and other public safety services, public school staff, childcare workers and grocery store staff.

Last in line for the second round will be court staff and other residents providing legal services, those working in health, social and social programs, public transport workers, production workers, those involved in food packaging and distribution. and U.S. Postal Service employees.

DC residents can make vaccination appointments through the district’s online portal by calling the city’s health department or through their health care provider. DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said officials expect demand for vaccines to rise after some initial concerns about side effects.

“The retirees were online this morning, before 8 a.m., scheduling appointments,” Nesbitt said. “We believe that absorption will be high.”

The spread of supplementary vaccines came as the seven-day average for new coronavirus cases in the region continued to escalate, reaching a high Monday of 8,545.

The greater Washington area added 7,744 new infections on Monday and 43 virus-related deaths. Virginia added 4,530 infections and 10 deaths, Maryland added 3,012 cases and 29 deaths, while the county added 202 infections and four deaths.

In Virginia, public health neighborhoods in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William counties in Alexandria, as well as the southwest region west of Roanoke, also began hosting meetings on Monday for their second phase of vaccine distribution.

As of Monday, the state has administered 189,283 doses of vaccine to health workers and residents in long-term care facilities covered by the first round, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The next round of inoculations includes people aged 75 and over; people living in correctional facilities, shelters for the homeless and migrant labor camps; and a large and diverse category of front-line workers who cannot work remotely.

Local health departments in Virginia will liaise with groups of key workers in the following order: police, fire, and hazardous materials response teams; corrections and shelters for homeless workers; K-12 teachers and school and child care; food and agriculture workers, including veterinarians; production workers; grocery store employees; public transport workers; postal carriers, including the U.S. Postal Service and private companies; and those necessary to maintain the continuity of governance.

As worries grew over the region’s growing number of infections, eligible residents seeking vaccine appointments lit up local health service telephone lines on Monday, making it difficult for others to cross.

“If you are calling to make an appointment, please note that our call center is overcrowded,” said a warning posted on the Fairfax County Health Department’s website, directing residents to an online portal.

Public health officials have called on people in these groups to be patient as they work through vaccination logistics.

“We know that our core workers and seniors are eager to get vaccinated, and we are ready to facilitate vaccination for as many people as possible in the coming weeks,” David Goodfriend, director of the Loudon County Health Department, said in a statement.

Maryland health officials continued to vaccinate health workers and residents of nursing homes during the first phase of the state, administering 146,172 doses Monday.

The largest civil servants’ union has criticized the spread of Governor Larry Hogan’s vaccine, complaining that little information has been provided to front-line employees working in general conditions or in social services.

“The complete lack of planning and communication is, it’s scary,” said Patrick Moran, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Maryland 3, during a virtual press conference.

Moran said more than 10 percent of the union’s 30,000 employees have been infected with the virus since March. Six of its members have died.

Prison and public hospital workers “are only now beginning to receive the vaccines they need,” Moran said. According to him, those who work for the Ministry of Juvenile Services and the Ministry of Humanitarian Services have not received information on when they will be given vaccines.

A spokesman for Hogan (R) did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Officials in Montgomery County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction, said the jurisdiction “pushes every button” to administer doses faster. But officials said they have limited control over the implementation of vaccination programs in hospitals and nursing homes.

“We are so out of our control,” District Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz (D-At general) told a news conference on Monday.

Montgomery officials said the county is expected to end Monday with about 83 percent of its nearly 13,000 doses administered to residents. Still, that’s not enough to push the county to the next round of inoculations, officials said.

To cover all of Montgomery’s first responders, the county needs at least another 3,000 doses, said James Bridges, the county’s deputy health officer.

District officials said they were monitoring the health effects of last year’s protest against Trump and the ensuing uprising, in which thousands of the president’s supporters gathered downtown without wearing masks before some stormed the Capitol.

On Sunday, Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician in Congress, informed members of the House and Senate that they may have been exposed to someone with a coronavirus infection while hiding from the rebels. He encouraged them to be tested.

Nesbitt said she was in “constant communication” with Monahan to assess the possibility that other people in the city had also been exposed.

“We have been close partners and close allies to ensure that there is no transmission that everything that happens on the hill will not drain into the District of Columbia,” Nesbitt said.

Rebecca Tan contributed to this report.

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