Thursday, December 7, 2023

Sentara prepares for COVID-19 vaccine

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

As several potential COVID-19 vaccines make their way through clinical trials, Sentara Healthcare is wasting no time and is meeting regularly with state and federal officials.

The health system said immunization with a safe and effective vaccine is a key component of the United States’ strategy to reduce the severity of, and deaths attributed to, the virus.

Here are the highlights from Sentara:

  • Sentara Healthcare has agreed to be an early adopter of COVID-19 vaccine administration as part of the state’s Unified Command and VDH COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.
  • Sentara has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce to develop a plan, guidance, and clear communication for our team members and community. “As we receive guidance from state and federal regulators, we will share more with you,” Sentara officials said.
  • Sentara expects to receive a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines upon Emergency Use Authorization approval and nationwide distribution.
  • Upon procurement, the voluntary COVID-19 vaccine will be first available to high risk health care employees using a phased approach consistent among hospitals in Virginia. Virginia hospitals have come together through the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and agreed upon a standard stratification of eligible employees, based on risks.
    • Healthcare workers with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure will be given priority (example: COVID inpatient units and emergency personnel).
    • The COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary/optionalfor Sentara employees. No one will be required to receive the vaccine, according to Sentara.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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