After being authorized for emergency use in December 2020, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first in the U.S. to be fully FDA-approved, under the new name, Comirnaty. Learn more about what’s changed now that the vaccine is approved, who’s eligible to get it, and its effectiveness against COVID-19. Then go get vaccinated.
The Madison Free Clinic is no longer offering COVID-19 testing, nor are we providing vaccinations. For up-to-date information, please visit the Rappahannock-Rapidan District of the Virginia Department of Health at https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/rappahannock-rapidan/.
Vaccinations are available at the Madison Health Dept- Every Wednesday from 8-11 & 1-3. If you need assistance by phone, please call 540-308-6072.
For information about where to get tested for COVID-19, please visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE · February 17, 2021
Office of the Governor
Governor Northam Unveils Statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Pre-Registration System
~ Virginians can use vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA to pre-register for the vaccine and get clear, updated information ~
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today invited Virginians to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine online at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA. The Commonwealth’s new, centralized system allows individuals to easily pre-register for the free vaccine, confirm that they are on the waitlist, and learn more about Virginia’s vaccination program.
“Virginians have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, and these new tools will help them get answers, get pre-registered, and most importantly, get vaccinated,” said Governor Northam. “While our vaccine supply remains limited, we are doing everything we can to acquire more doses and put shots into the arms of eligible individuals in a safe, efficient, and equitable manner. I thank everyone for staying patient and continuing to follow public health guidance so we can mitigate the spread of this dangerous virus.”
Virginia’s new website and call center are designed to streamline vaccine pre-registration by bringing disparate processes from local health departments together under one unified system. Virginians who previously pre-registered for the vaccine through their local health district do not need to sign up again. Those who have already pre-registered have been automatically transferred to the centralized system, and their pre-registration status will not be affected. Data migration will continue throughout the week and it may take several days for everyone to appear in the new system.
Virginia is also launching a new call center for those who prefer to pre-register by phone. The call center is open seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. It is staffed by 750 live operators who can answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and help people get pre-registered. The call center has English- and Spanish-speaking agents, as well as a call-back service in more than 100 other languages. TTY service is available to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. If wait times are long, Virginians can choose to get a callback and avoid having to stay on hold. Call volume is expected to be very high during the first week of operation.
To complete your pre-registration, you will be asked to provide some basic information to determine your eligibility. You will not be asked for your social security number or your immigration status. Anyone who pre-registers will receive a pre-registration confirmation and a reference code that can be used to verify that you are still on the waitlist. Individuals can also specify whether they prefer to be contacted by phone, text, or email.
Pre-registration gives Virginians the opportunity to get updates about vaccine availability and to make an appointment when vaccine supply allows—it does not provide immediate access to a vaccine. When you become eligible, you will receive instructions from your local health department on how to schedule an appointment.
More than 12 percent of Virginia’s population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine. Across the country, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine currently far exceeds supply, and it is expected to take several months to reach all individuals who want to be vaccinated. The Commonwealth is prioritizing individuals who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19 and those who work in certain critical industries, based on public health guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Virginians who qualify for Groups 1A and 1B are currently eligible for vaccinations. This includes health care personnel, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, people age 65 and older, frontline essential workers, those living and working in homeless shelters and correctional facilities, and individuals with underlying medical conditions or disabilities that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
Living with diabetes—a disease in which the body doesn’t properly process glucose, or sugar, from food—has always been complicated.
But the arrival of the coronavirus has multiplied those challenges. As a result, many of the estimated 34 million Americans with diabetes (about 1 in 10 people) and 88 million with prediabetes (about 1 in 3 adults) may now be fighting for their lives in more ways than one.
Testing for both COVID-19 and diabetes is available at no cost to Free Clinic Patients. Call us at 540-948-3667 to schedule an appointment.
In this special report on diabetes + COVID-19, Consumer Reports says people with diabetes and those who are at risk for it are far more likely to experience severe complications if they become ill with the coronavirus.
Just over a third of American adults have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means their body does not respond normally to the hormone insulin.
Prediabetes hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with prediabetes don’t know they have it, in part because it often has no obvious symptoms.
People younger than 45 who are overweight and have at least one other risk factor—such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, a family history of diabetes, or a sedentary lifestyle—should be screened, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and other medical organizations. If results are normal, retest every three years; for borderline high (prediabetes), every one to two years.
Madison Free Clinic patients are eligible for no-cost diabetes testing and treatment, including help with prescription medications if necessary. Simply call us at 540-948-3667 to request an appointment.
Consumer Reports reveals the truth about prediabetes, which hikes the risk of not only diabetes but also heart disease and stroke. Yet many people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned yesterday that the coronavirus spreads more readily than it had previously stated, after briefly posting and then removing a draft of the same advisory last month. The new guidance warns that in indoor settings with poor ventilation, contagion can spread via microscopic aerosol particles well beyond the 6-foot social distance many Americans have been observing.
A group of infectious-disease physicians and aerosol experts, in a letter published Monday in the journal Science, more strongly emphasized the airborne potential of the virus than the CDC did in its update.
COVID-19 testing is available free of charge for Free Clinic patients. Please call us at 540-948-3667 for more information.
CDC says airborne transmission plays a role in coronavirus spread in a long-awaited update after a website error last month
The update officially acknowledges growing evidence that under certain conditions, people farther than six feet apart can become infected by tiny droplets and particles that float in the air for minutes and hours, and that they play a role in the pandemic.
The majority of people with COVID toes — which Freeman likens to chilblains (also called pernio), an inflammatory skin condition that often occurs after exposure to very cold temperatures — don’t experience other symptoms of a coronavirus infection and don’t require hospitalization for care. “Many patients are developing these toe lesions well after their infection, or they’re otherwise completely asymptomatic, except for the toes,” she adds.
The Covid-19 virus can linger on objects for as little as a few hours or as long as a couple of days, depending on the surface. Here’s the research.
In the last two weeks of July, nearly 100,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
The speed and the scale of the infections — dozens of countries have not yet recorded 100,000 cases in total — further complicate the already daunting issue of reopening schools. In Georgia, Indiana and other states, some schools that reopened have already closed down again after new outbreaks emerged.
Recent research suggests that children can carry at least as much of the virus in their noses and throats as adults do, even if they have only mild or moderate symptoms. That has prompted fears that students who become ill at school may spread the virus to their older relatives.
But it’s not just older people who are at risk — in some rare cases, a child’s health can be severely affected. Nearly 600 young people in the U.S., from infants to 20-year-olds, have developed an inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Most of the children required intensive care.
“I fear that there has been this sense that kids just won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they’re almost like a bubbled population,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, told The Times in July.
“There will be a transmission,” he said. “What we have to do is accept that now and include that in our plans.”
While many hold out hopes for a vaccine to end the epidemic, one expert warns that vaccines are just part of the solution. Mask-wearing, shutting down some businesses, limiting large gatherings, and finding potential treatments will continue to be critical as a vaccine is still months away, and may not be completely effective even when there is one.