Delaware has opened COVID-19 vaccinations to those 65 and older, and here’s the best link to use for the new registration system:
State officials said Tuesday that they were ready to start overlapping the people in phase 1B with the healthcare workers and first responders left in phase 1A after a 10-day sprint that vaccinated 10,000 people.
The state invited some older people in phase 1B to some of the events as a trial run for larger group. Among the things they discovered is that they have to be sure the facilities are accessible. A trial run Monday at Salesianum School hit a snag when organizers realized that people had to climb stairs to get into the gym, so anyone with mobility issues had to be steered around the back of the building.
Gov. John Carney said Tuesday that one reason the state ramped up vaccinations was because the federal government was threatening to cut the vaccine allocations of states that were not using what they had. Delaware officials took 2,000 doses of vaccine from a hospital that wasn’t able to use it, Carney said, but he didn’t say which one.
To cut down on confusion at vaccine sites, the state has created a new vaccine registration system. It’s best to access it online, but those without computers or internet access can call the Delaware vaccine line to be registered. That number is 1-833-643-1715.
The state has mass vaccinations planned this week, including two each at the Delaware City and Georgetown DMVs.
Those who register will not automatically be signed up for an event. All registrants will be triaged according to age and underlying health conditions, Rattay said.
Those who are chosen for an event will receive an email inviting them to be vaccinated at a specific place and time. The invitation requires a response so the state can be sure all its slots are filled.
Because of the triage system, a husband and wife who register together may not be invited to the same event, she said.
Delaware is only getting 15,000 to 20,000 doses of vaccine a week, Carney and Rattay said. That means it will take weeks to months to vaccinate the 200,000 people in Delaware who are 65 or older, while finishing up the rest of the healthcare workers in 1A.
Among the things that people who are registered or invited need to know:
- Multiple people can register for a single email account, but invitations will be for one specific person.
- The state cannot guarantee anyone will get a vaccine at a certain point or certain place, but people will be steered to an event near them.
- When going to a vaccination after receiving an invitation, the person needs to bring a driver’s license and a copy of the invitation.
- When going to a vaccination, make sure you are wearing a mask and dressed so that an arm can be exposed for the shot without having to get out of a car and take off a coat or other attire.
- While both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require a second shot to be fully effective, those shots have to come at 21 weeks or 28 days, respectively, or later. Rattay broadly hinted that many of the second shots would come later as states try to get vaccine into as many people as possible. The first shots of the vaccine essentially put your body on alert, and the second shots are designed to amplify the body’s immune response.
- If you got to a vaccine site without registering and without an invitation, you will be turned away with getting a shot.
The state later will open vaccine registration to others in 1B: fire, police, correctional officers, teachers and education staff (including child care providers), U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and grocery store workers. Many will have options other than registering online:
- K-12 educators: This week, the Department of Education will be announce educators and school staff. Starting Jan. 25, it partnering with Acme/Safeway pharmacies to host vaccination events for educators at school sites and to allow educators to be vaccinated at Acme/Safeway pharmacy locations.
- Child care workers: The DOE’s Office of Child Care Licensing will offer options similar to the K-12 educators and staff, starting the week of Jan. 25.
- Correctional officers: The Department of Correction began receiving vaccine earlier this month. Officers performing 1A functions have been offered vaccine, as have a small number of inmates and officers over the age of 65 with serious medical conditions. DOC will continue its program based on age and health condition.
- Other frontline essential workers: DPH and the Division of Small Business are planning vaccinations. Information will be released soon to help employers who want to host their own vaccination events or want employees to be vaccinated elsewhere. Questions from frontline employers should go to Covid19faq@delaware.gov.
- Pharmacies: A list of pharmacies taking COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be available at de.gov/covidvaccine starting the week of Jan. 25. The list will grow. Pharmacies are expected to be a primary choice for vaccinations as more vaccine becomes available, but they will have limited doses in the early part of the effort. Pharmacies are asked to limit their efforts 1A and 1B now.
- Primary care providers: Vaccines will be available to those 65 and over from some primary care and specialty care providers, including urgent care sites and federal health centers. Some will contact their own patients to offer appointments and others may invite the public. Medical providers who wish to vaccinate individuals must enroll in the state’s immunization system by going to the Medical Provider page of de.gov/covidvaccine.