How people 65 and older, health care workers and teachers in Delaware can get in line for COVID-19 vaccines
Gov. John Carney on Tuesday said Delaware could distribute four times the amount of vaccine the state is receiving each week.
The lack of supply – there are nearly 300,000 Delawareans currently eligible for the vaccine and Delaware is receiving between 15,000 and 20,000 doses each week – is the main limiting factor in the state's vaccine rollout, officials say.
Carney is optimistic the situation will improve with the Biden administration now in charge of distributing the vaccine to states. It has "guaranteed to a certain extent" the number of vaccines states will receive over the next three weeks, allowing for better planning at the state level, and has promised to increase allotments by 22%.
The Biden administration also announced this week it will begin sending doses directly to 6,500 pharmacies across the country on Feb. 11.
Delaware officials were already ramping up distribution to pharmacies, promising to send 4,000 doses to them this week, with a focus on locations in underserved communities.
It's unclear how many additional doses will be in Delaware as a result of the federal program, but the Biden administration said the vaccines sent directly to pharmacies will not impact the state's weekly allotments, which are determined by population.
Walgreens and CVS, the nation's largest pharmacy chains, each announced a list of states that will be receiving the first batch of doses directly from the federal government.
Delaware is among 15 states and jurisdictions on Walgreens' list, selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to "optimize vaccine access in medically underserved areas," according to a press release. Delaware is not on CVS' initial list.
Other pharmacy brands that will be involved in the program include Walmart, Rite Aid, Costco and Safeway.
How to get a vaccine appointment
Dozens of readers have contacted Delaware Online/The News Journal asking how they can book a vaccine appointment. Here are the options, which differ with each eligible group.
Delaware is currently allowing health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, some essential workers and everyone 65 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
People 65 and older
Mass vaccination events: People 65 and older can request an appointment through the state at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. Here is the process.
- Fill out the COVID-19 vaccination appointment request form at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov.
- Look for an invitation email. If it doesn't come immediately, you are on the state's waiting list and should receive a future notification when vaccine becomes available. Invitation emails could come to your spam folder and will likely be from a "VAMS" or "CDC" sender.
- Click the link included in the invitation email and create and two-factor authenticate a password meeting listed minimum requirements. Click the agree to the terms box and click "Create Account."
- After creating an account, fill in personal information, including the "My Information," "Medical History," "Insurance" and "Organization" fields. Click "I have reviewed and confirmed that the data above is correct" to agree.
- Click the "Schedule vaccination appointment" button and pick an available time and date.
- Look for confirmation emails. You should receive one email when you make an appointment and a second the day before or the day of your appointment with a link to a questionnaire.
- Complete the Prevaccination Questionnaire included in the second confirmation email. The email will also include information about the vaccine.
The state is pairing people 65 and older on its waiting list with mass state-run vaccination clinics, as well as smaller Curative and Vault Health events. More than 100,000 older adults are on the waiting list, Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health, said Tuesday, meaning it could be some time before you can book an appointment.
If you don't have internet access, call the COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at (833) 643-1715, and a call center operator should be able to help you sign up.
Pharmacies: Pharmacies are scheduling their own appointments. If you are on the state's waiting list, you are in line for state-operated events only and should consider signing up for an appointment at a pharmacy or medical office.
Linked below are the online sign-up pages for pharmacies offering vaccines in Delaware to people 65 and older. Also listed is the vaccine manufacturer they are offering. You can receive first and second doses at different providers if they are from the same manufacturer and spaced at least 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) apart.
- Walgreens (Moderna)
- Rite Aid (Moderna)
- Walmart (Pfizer)
- Sam's Club (Pfizer)
- Giant (Moderna)
- Camden Rx (Moderna)
- Aspira Health (Pfizer)
Medical providers: Some primary care and specialty care providers are offering vaccines to people 65 and older, although several are offering them only to their own patients. A list of offices is available on the state's website.
The state said it will also allocate about 4,000 doses to hospitals this week to administer to people 65 and older, as well as their own phase 1A employees. Information on how to sign up to be vaccinated through a hospital system is linked below.
The Wilmington VA Medical Center is directly contacting patients 75 and older to schedule vaccinations.
Phase 1A health care workers
If you fall into phase 1A – front-line health care workers and first responders – you are still eligible to be vaccinated.
State events: First responders previously vaccinated by the Division of Public Health will receive second doses in a series of events coordinated by the state at first responder facilities around the state between Wednesday and Feb. 18.
The state also lists two options for phase 1A workers on its website.
- ENT & Allergy of Delaware: Sign up online here and staff will call to schedule appointments. The online sign-up, however, is closed until Feb. 15 due to an abundance of requests.
- Aspira Health: Email email@example.com with "Aspira – Phase 1A request" in the subject line.
Questions regarding vaccinations for phase 1A personnel can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long-term care residents and staff are continuing to be vaccinated through the federal pharmacy program with Walgreens and CVS.
Educators and school staff
The Department of Education is handling the vaccination process for all educators and school staff, including bus drivers, nutrition staff, office staff and district early childhood center staff, working at Delaware public and private schools.
In week two of its vaccine rollout, the Department of Education is vaccinating about 1,200 educators and school staff at its own vaccine events.
On Jan. 26, all staff received an email with a link to a preregistration system. Educators and staff interested in being vaccinated should fill out the request form and self-identify which stage of the Department of Education's rollout they fall into.
- Stage 1: age 65 or older, high- or medium-risk chronic medical conditions or work with special populations and have limited opportunity to follow public health measures such as physical distancing and face coverings
- Stage 2: individuals whose job responsibilities require them to directly interact with students and/or members of the public on a routine basis, either within a school building or in the community
- Stage 3: did not have access to the vaccine in prior stages or whose job responsibilities can be or are currently being performed from home
Ahead of each event, invitations will be sent to educators and school staff who preregistered. Questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Rest of phase 1B
Also included in phase 1B are U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing and agricultural workers, transportation workers and grocery store workers, but they've largely yet to be vaccinated.
The Department of Correction has begun vaccinating 1B staff after vaccinating some under phase 1A.
Division of Public Health spokesperson Andrea Wojcik said vaccine planning for front-line essential workers is underway between the Divisions of Public Health and Small Business. In the interim, questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"In general the guidance has been to encourage patience until supply allows us to open up vaccination opportunities more broadly for this section of Phase 1 eligible persons," Wojcik wrote in an email.
Other vaccine developments we're tracking
• Delaware has administered 110,707 of 131,775 doses (84%), according to its vaccine tracker. According to CDC data, which differs slightly from state-reported data, Delaware ranks seventh among the 50 states in percentage of population given one shot (9.1%). Delaware ranks 25th in population percentage with two doses (1.9%).
• As the vaccine rolls out in Delaware, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Delaware is falling. Reporter Jeff Neiburg explored the long, winding path to herd immunity and the prospect of a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which would require one dose and could accelerate the vaccination process.
• With cases declining, Carney on Thursday announced occupancy of retail locations, gyms, houses of worship, arts venues and other businesses could increase to 50% capacity.
He also mandated vaccination providers in Delaware report complete demographic information to the state within 24 hours of administering a dose.
Earlier this week, Delaware Online/The News Journal reported that early state data showed a striking racial disparity in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. And a significant chunk of the data was missing because some providers did not collect race data or input it correctly – despite this data point being a required component of vaccine reporting.
• If you're following the state's vaccine tracker, you might have noticed Delaware has received more than twice as many Moderna vaccines as Pfizer vaccines. Rattay said Tuesday it's not by design – the state is accepting whatever vaccines are given to them – but the Moderna vaccine is easier to handle.
"The Moderna does not have to be at those super ultra-cold temperatures," she said. "It also has a longer shelf-life in the refrigerator of 30 days as opposed to five."
The first dose of the Moderna vaccine alone has been shown to be more effective than the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.