Health officials are urging calm and patience as certain regions of the state move into the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Since it was announced Friday that the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts will begin Phase 1b of administering vaccines, offices have been bombarded with phone calls and emails.
“We will have the vaccine for people who want it in due time, but that’s not going to happen overnight. We need for people to be patient and flexible,” Dr. Cynthia Morrow, director of the two health districts, said Monday.
Phase Ib covers frontline essential workers and people 75 and older. Morrow is advising people 75 and older to stay home and defer their shots until essential workers are vaccinated.
“If you can stay home and defer our vaccines for a few weeks, it will help all of us,” Morrow said.
Morrow estimates that 50,000 people are in Group 1b in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.
Rural areas may see vaccine distribution move more quickly due a lesser demand.
“We may be able to move through some groups more quickly than we can in our larger districts,” Morrow said.