Health Department

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administration office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location. COVID-19 call center hours are Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm.

703-267-3511
TTY 711

10777 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22030

Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H.,
Director of Health

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Updated September 27, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

How do I make an appointment for a vaccine?

Use Vaccines.gov to search for locations that offer COVID-19 vaccines and then schedule directly with any provider.

To schedule an appointment at a Fairfax County Health Department clinic, use the scheduling system: Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).  

Pop-up clinics are also taking place throughout the Fairfax Health District. See times and locations.

Are walk-in appointments available?

The Government Center and Mount Vernon District Office vaccination clinics offers first-come, first-served walk-in appointments. Appointments may also still be scheduled ahead of time.  Walk-in hours are:

Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax VA

  • Monday, Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Mt. Vernon District Office, 8350 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria VA

  • Monday, Thursday: 11:30am – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pop-up clinics are also taking place throughout the Fairfax Health District. See times and locations.

Please note: not all Health Department vaccine sites offer walk-in appointments.

Can caregivers accompany on an appointment?

Yes. One caregiver is welcome to join on an appointment if assistance is needed. Please note that caregivers will not be offered vaccine. Only those who meet the criteria and have an appointment will be offered vaccine.

Do minors need to be accompanied by an adult to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment??

From VDH:

Anyone in Virginia age 12 or older is eligible for a FREE COVID-19 vaccine. While anyone over 16 can schedule an appointment for a vaccine, it may take some time for an appointment to become available near you.

Minors in the Commonwealth of Virginia may not consent to immunizations to prevent disease. The Commonwealth does allow someone acting “in loco parentis” per:§ 32.1-46, which covers  vaccination in accordance with the Immunization schedule developed by and published by the  Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Current COVID-19 vaccines have been released under an Emergency Use Authorization. In an effort to maintain consistency with similar approaches to vaccination, a minor may present for  COVID-19 vaccination with either a parent, guardian, or someone standing in loco parentis.

There are some exceptions to this practice. Except for the purposes of sexual sterilization, any minor who is or has been married shall be deemed an adult for the purpose of giving consent to surgical and medical treatment.

For minors getting vaccinated at VDH sponsored or supported community events and health department clinics: The parent or guardian does not have to be present at the time of  vaccination, but someone acting in loco parentis must accompany the minor.

For minors getting vaccinated at VDH sponsored or supported school vaccination events: Clinics occurring during the school day while school is in session and fully staffed do require parental consent but do not require the presence of a parent, guardian, or someone acting in loco parentis.

I've already scheduled my appointment, but I am currently in quarantine. What do I do? 

You will need to wait until your quarantine is over before coming in for your second dose. This action will help prevent you from possibly spreading illness to volunteers and staff working the vaccination clinic. 

In order to reschedule, you will need to cancel 24 hours before your appointment to keep your place in the queue. Go to your appointment confirmation email you received and click the “cancel appointment” link (found near the end of the email). Once you’ve cancelled your appointment, you will receive a cancellation confirmation email which will contain a link to reschedule your appointment. Appointments for second doses are added to the scheduler each week.

While the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be scheduled up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose.
 

I registered with Fairfax County. What are my options for getting a vaccine appointment?

Everyone who registered on our waitlist before it closed at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, has been contacted to schedule appointments.

The Health Department no longer maintains a registration list. Residents can visit vaccines.gov to make an appointment when they become eligible for booster shots.

Early in the vaccine roll-out, supply was extremely limited and only a small number of providers offered vaccine, including local health departments. Today, vaccine is widely available throughout the Fairfax Health District. Pharmacies, health systems and health care providers will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and will remain options for residents when boosters become available.

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY IN FAIRFAX HEALTH DISTRICT

Who is currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Virginia?

All individuals in the Fairfax Health District who are 12 or older are eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccine for 12- to 15-Year-Olds.

Do you have to be a resident of the Fairfax Health District to access COVID-19 vaccines?

Beginning May 13, all individuals who are 12 or older are eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about COVID-19 Vaccine for 12- to 15-Year-Olds.

Can I get vaccinated at a pharmacy?

Residents are encouraged to use Vaccines.gov to search for locations that offer COVID-19 vaccines and then schedule appointments directly with any provider based on the day, time and location that is most convenient for them.

Be aware that each provider may have different processes to sign up to get an appointment.

 

How are you informing people that it is their turn to be vaccinated?

The Fairfax County Health Department uses a variety of ways to disseminate information, including: blog posts, website updates, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Nextdoor), English and Spanish text alerts, a countywide mailing to all homes, flyers, news media (TV, radio, newspapers and blogs), videos in multiple languages, working with our Outreach team in the community, and more.

VAMS & VACCINES.GOV

Can I schedule at one of your clinics without using Vaccine.gov?

Yes. You can search for an appointment date, time and location using the scheduling system we are using: Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS)

We encourage you to create an account so that you can easily manage your appointment and schedule your second dose. You will also be able to download a certificate of your vaccination status after you receive your second dose. All automatically generated emails related to your appointment will come from this system.

You will also need to complete a prevaccination questionnaire before you receive a vaccine. You will be required to answer questions about your health and acknowledge receipt of information about the vaccine. This questionnaire can be completed approximately 24 hours before your appointment in VAMS.

If you need help scheduling, contact our call center at 703-324-7404.

What is Vaccines.gov?

Vaccines.gov is a free, online service where users can search for pharmacies and providers that offer vaccination. Information about where COVID-19 vaccines are available is provided directly by pharmacies and providers, in collaboration with states, and is updated daily. Vaccines.gov is powered by VaccineFinder, in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital.

How does Vaccines.gov work?

Vaccines.gov displays locations that have available doses from approved vaccine providers across the county, including the Health Department, pharmacies, hospitals, and some private practices.

  1. Click the blue Find COVID-19 Vaccine box
  2. If you have a preferred manufacturer due to allergies or other reasons, you can select those manufacturer(s) using the checkboxes above your zip code 
  3. Enter your zip code and select a search radius (the distance you are willing to travel)
  4. Click blue “in stock” circle at location you want to schedule an appointment
  5. You will be redirected to the provider's online scheduling system
  6. Check appointment availability at the provider's locations
  7. Schedule appointment on the day, time and location that is most convenient for you

Why can’t I schedule an appointment on Vaccines.gov or see whether appointments are available?

According to the CDC’s Vaccines.gov webpage, Vaccines.gov only displays information about whether a pharmacy or provider has vaccine in stock. To check appointment availability, you will need to visit that pharmacy or provider page directly. After you enter your zip code and search radius, select the provider and then follow the instructions at the top of the page.

What does it mean if a COVID-19 vaccine is “in stock”?

According to the CDC’s Vaccines.gov webpage, if a pharmacy or provider reports that COVID vaccine is “in stock,” it means the location has reported vaccines are available within the last 72 hours. Follow the links provided by the location to schedule an appointment. Vaccine availability is subject to change.

What does it mean if a COVID-19 vaccine is “out of stock”?

According to the CDC’s Vaccines.gov webpage, if a pharmacy or provider reports that COVID-19 vaccine is “out of stock,” it means the location has reported that vaccine is not available or has not updated vaccine stock status within the last 72 hours. Vaccines.gov is updated every day, so we recommend checking again to find out if the pharmacy or provider has received more vaccine.

Is Vaccines.gov available in languages other than English?

Vaccines.gov is currently available available in English and Spanish. Users can switch languages on their browsers as an alternative.

If you need assistance in another language or are not able to schedule an appointment online at a Fairfax County Health Department clinic, contact our Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404.

ABOUT COVID-19 VACCINES

Is there an approved COVID-19 vaccine?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for persons ages 16 and older.

The vaccine, which will now be marketed under the brand name “Comirnaty”, continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

Additionally, for logistical reasons, the EUA will continue to cover the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 Vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older; this use is also now approved.

See the FDA’s Announcement and FAQs.

Are additional vaccines available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

Currently, there are three COVID-19 vaccines available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA):

  • Pfizer-BioNTech, for individuals 12 through 15 years of age
  • Moderna, for individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) for individuals 18 years of age and older.

An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) enables medical products, including vaccines, to be used during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic following rigorous testing and scientific review. For an EUA to be issued for a vaccine, the FDA must determine that the manufacturing process ensures quality and consistency and that the known and potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh the known and potential risks. While formal approval is a process that will take additional months to secure, the vaccines have proved safe and effective in large clinical trials and no corners were cut in the development or review of the vaccines. 

What vaccines are available?

There are three COVID-19 vaccines in use in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for persons ages 16 and older. This will now be marketed under the brand name “Comirnaty”.

There are currently three vaccines that are authorized by the FDA for use in the United States: 1) Pfizer-BioNTec COVID-19 vaccine, for 12-15 year olds 2) Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and 3) Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. All three vaccines are extremely effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

Are the vaccines safe?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. Learn more about the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines.

COVID-19 can be a severe or fatal disease, even in young, healthy people. The risks from COVID-19 illness are greater than the possible risks from receiving the vaccine, therefore, when you are eligible for vaccination, it is strongly recommended you receive the vaccine. If you have specific questions about whether or not you should receive the vaccine when it is available, please contact your primary care provider.

For general vaccine information you can contact our call center at 703-267-3511.
 

How will COVID-19 vaccines protect me and others?

All three vaccines are extremely effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The authorized vaccines work differently, but each stimulate an immune response, which produces antibodies. These antibodies protect us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.

While vaccines are very effective in preventing COVID-19, they are just one tool. Even for those who have been vaccinated, a combination of actions is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. After getting the vaccine, it will still be important to adhere to all health and safety recommendations from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health.

What is in the vaccine?

There are three currently available vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines include a piece of messenger RNA, or mRNA, that your body uses as instructions to make a protein that appears on the surface of the virus. Your immune system reacts to this protein and develops a response without danger of coronavirus infection. This allows your body to start preparing to fight against the virus even before you are exposed. There is no live virus in the vaccine and it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different technology, but one that has been developed over many years for several vaccines. It is not an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer and Moderna. Instead it is a viral vector vaccine, which uses a harmless adenovirus, one of a family of viruses which causes the common cold, as a vector to deliver instructions, in the form of genetic material (a gene), to make a piece of the coronavirus that stimulates our immune response. The vaccine does not cause infection with either COVID-19 or the virus that is used as the vector. The genetic material delivered by the viral vector does not integrate into a person’s DNA.

Vaccine ingredients lists can be found on the manufacturer’s fact sheets:

How is the vaccine administered?

Vaccines currently available will be given by injecting it into the muscle, similar to the flu shot.

The Pfizer-BoiNTech and Moderna vaccines require a second dose which should be administered about three or four weeks after the first dose. Your shot will be recorded on a vaccination card and you will be asked to follow up with a second appointment at the appropriate time. You must receive both doses as scheduled in order to fully benefit from the vaccine’s protection.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine requires only a single dose.

If I have already recovered from COVID-19, do I need the vaccine or am I already protected?

From the CDC:

Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because:

  • Research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19.
  • Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19.

Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely than fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again.

If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you or your child has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until you or your child have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations for people with a history of multisystem MIS-C or MIS-A.

Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

Related CDC pages:

If I get the vaccine will I need to quarantine for a period of time after receiving the vaccine?

No. The vaccine does not contain a live virus. It only contains a piece of the genetic code for the spike protein, which protects your body from the virus. It cannot give you COVID-19.

Why was use of the J&J vaccine paused?

On April 13, 2021, after six cases of extremely rare but severe cases of blood clots associated with low platelet count were reported in women who had received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, the U.S. CDC and U.S. FDA paused use of the vaccine. This pause allowed the U.S. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to investigate the case reports and assess the safety of the vaccine. 

What did the U.S. CDC and FDA decide after their scientific review of the J&J vaccine?

After an 11-day pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine to review scientific and case data related to extremely rare cases of severe blood clots, the U.S. CDC and FDA authorized providers to resume use of the J&J vaccine on April 23, 2021.

The pause was instituted after reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. During the pause, medical and scientific teams at the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of thrombosis involving the cerebral venous sinuses, or CVST (large blood vessels in the brain), and other sites in the body (including but not limited to the large blood vessels of the abdomen and the veins of the legs) along with thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet counts. The teams at FDA and CDC also conducted extensive outreach to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for these adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events due to the unique treatment required for these blood clots and low platelets, also known as thrombosisthrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

Following their scientific review, U.S. CDC and FDA determined the following:

  • Use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine should be resumed in the United States.
  • The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
  • At this time, the available data suggest that the chance of TTS occurring is very low, and the FDA and CDC will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.
  • Health care providers administering the vaccine and vaccine recipients or caregivers should review the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) and Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers, which have been revised to include information about the risk of this syndrome, which has occurred in a very small number of people who have received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

Will patients need to sign a consent form before the J&J vaccine can be administered?

The consent form for the J&J vaccine has not changed.

What do you do with leftover vaccine?

We do everything possible to avoid vaccine wastage and have a strategic plan for how to use every dose. If stored in proper cold chain, vials that have not been opened are good for 30 days when refrigerated. Once a vial is opened, it must be used within 6 hours. At the Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccination sites, we know how many doses will be dispensed each day since vaccine is distributed by appointment. Currently, we experience very few no-shows at our sites. In addition, vaccinators pull doses from a shared pool of vials throughout the day to ensure that as the end of day nears, they are pulling doses from vials already opened. Our agency’s senior pharmacist provides vaccine management protocols to minimize waste. These are the same vaccination protocols in place for other vaccines that the Health Department distributes widely to the general public every day.

What should people with weakened immune systems know?

People who have weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 infection and spreading the infection to others. This includes people whose immunity is lower because of a disease such as cancer; because they have received an organ transplant; or because they take a medication that suppresses their immune system (including chemotherapy or many of the medications used to treat rheumatic conditions).

The good news is that COVID-19 vaccines remain highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death due to Delta variant infection.

Studies show that vaccination is effective at protecting many people who have weakened immune systems. This protection is likely lower than for others because of a weaker immune response to the vaccine; however, even if someone does become ill after vaccination, the infection may be less severe. Because there are many different conditions that lead to weakened immunity, talk with your doctor about your specific condition and getting vaccinated. Vaccination is safe in people regardless of their immune status.

Even after vaccination, people who have a weakened immune system should pay extra attention to all the other measures to prevent COVID-19 infection. This includes wearing a mask when indoors and around others in public; staying 6 feet apart from others they do not live with; avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces; and practicing good handwashing. In addition, family members and care takers who spend time with immunocompromised people should get vaccinated against COVID-19 because if they are protected, they are unlikely to get infected and possibly spread the infection to the person whose immunity is lower.

COVID-19 VACCINE SECOND DOSE

How do I schedule my second dose if I received my first dose from Fairfax County?

If you received your first dose from a Fairfax County Health Department clinic and would like to schedule your second dose with us, please using our scheduling system, Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS)

The Health Department will no longer send an email 4-7 days before someone is due for their second dose prompting them to schedule an appointment. This change allows you to schedule further in advance and offers more flexibility. Individuals who did not schedule their first dose through VAMS have been notified by text message and email about this change.

When scheduling your second dose, please be sure to make your appointment no earlier than the recommended interval (21 days after your first Pfizer vaccination or 28 days after your first Moderna vaccination). You can find the earliest recommended date on the back of your Vaccination Record Card.

If you need assistance scheduling your second dose, please contact our Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404.

I received my first dose outside of the Fairfax Health District and need my second dose. How do I schedule an appointment?

If you did not receive your first dose locally and you cannot return to the same location where you received your first dose, you can schedule your second dose using our scheduling system, Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

You can also search for other providers who offer the COVID-19 vaccine using Vaccines.gov.

Do I need a second dose if I received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

If you received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 shots to get the most protection. You should get your second shot even if you had side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor told you not to get it. You are only considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose.

COVID-19 vaccines are not interchangeable. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get the same product for your second shot.

If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need one dose. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you received this vaccine.

When should I get my second dose?

The date on the back of your vaccine card is the earliest recommended date to receive your second dose. It is not an appointment date. If there is no date on the back of your card, please plan for your second dose based on the recommended intervals. The second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible.

  • The Pfizer vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
  • The Moderna vaccine doses should be given 4 weeks (28 days) apart.

If it is not feasible to adhere to the recommended interval and a delay in vaccination is unavoidable, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to six weeks (42 days) after the first dose.

Please be sure to follow this guidance when you are scheduling your second dose appointment because you may see appointments available that are too early or too late for you.

Do I need to get the same vaccine for the second dose?

Yes. Second doses must be the same vaccine from the same manufacturer as the first dose. 

What is the date on the back of my vaccine card?

When people receive their vaccine at the Health Department, they are given a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, which is just a bit larger than a standard business card. That date on the back of your card is the earliest recommended date to receive your second dose. Depending on the vaccine, this date will be either three weeks (Pfizer-BioNTech) or four weeks (Moderna) later. The date on the back of your vaccination record card is NOT an appointment date.

See Understanding the Dates on Your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card for more details.

COVID-19 Third Doses

What is the difference between an additional dose and a booster dose?

A “additional dose” refers to administration of an additional vaccine dose when the initial immune response following a primary vaccine series may be insufficient. Studies indicate that some immunocompromised people do not always build the same level of immunity after vaccination the way non-immunocompromised people do and may benefit from an additional dose to ensure adequate protection against COVID-19.

A “booster dose” refers to a dose of vaccine administered when the initial sufficient immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have waned over time.

Are additional (extra) doses of a COVID-19 recommended for people with weakened immune systems?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized and CDC adopted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) advice to recommend a third (additional) dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for people with moderately or severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).

  • People who are immunocompromised can speak to their healthcare provider to help determine if they would benefit from an additional dose.
  • This recommended additional dose applies only to those who received 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine.
  • The third dose should be administered at least 28 days after the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.
  • Individuals 12 and older can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and individuals 18 and older can receive the Moderna vaccine.
  • The third dose should be the same mRNA vaccine as the primary series. However, an alternative mRNA vaccine can be used if the primary series product is not available.
  • Individuals will need to self-attest as having a qualifying condition.

People with weakened immune systems, even those who receive an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine, might not have strong protection against COVID-19 after vaccination and should continue to take additional precautions to prevent COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, watching their distance from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.

  • They should also discuss the possibility of monoclonal antibody treatment options with their healthcare provider in case they get infected with or are exposed to COVID-19.
  • Their household members and other close contacts should get fully vaccinated to provide increased protection to their loved ones.

Who is recommended to get an additional dose of the vaccine?

Moderately to severely immunocompromised people” includes people with a range of conditions, such as recipients of organ or stem cell transplants, people with advanced or untreated HIV infection, active recipients of treatment for cancer, people who are taking some medications that weaken the immune system, and others. A full list of conditions and factors to consider for making this determination can be found in CDC’s clinical considerations guidance.

If an individual has questions about a third dose, they should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. Additional information is also available from the CDC.

When and where can I get a third dose?

Vaccines are readily available throughout Virginia. Individuals who are recommended to receive a third dose can make an appointment or find a walk-in location. Visit vaccines.gov or the Fairfax County Health Department vaccine website to find a location.

Will the health department provide a third dose of all of the vaccines?

No. At this time, the Fairfax County Health Department can only provide Pfizer vaccinations.

It is recommended that individuals who received the Moderna vaccine from their medical provider or elsewhere, should reach out to their medical provider or visit vaccines.gov to obtain a Moderna third dose.

Currently, there is no CDC recommendation to provide additional Johnson & Johnson vaccinations.

Do I need to prove that I am immunocompromised to receive an additional dose of vaccine?

No. There is no need for individuals to provide medical documentation or proof. However, clinic staff may ask individuals if they have a moderate or severe immunocompromising condition.

Can I preregister with the Health Department for a third dose appointment?

No. The Health Department no longer maintains a registration list.

Early in the vaccine roll-out, supply was extremely limited and only a small number of providers offered vaccine, including local health departments. Today, vaccine is widely available throughout the Fairfax Health District. Pharmacies, health systems and health care providers will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and will remain options for residents when boosters become available.

Residents can visit vaccines.gov to make an appointment when they become eligible for booster shots.

What is the dose size for the additional dose, for significantly immunocompromised individuals?

The dosage size for the third dose is the same as previous doses. The third dose should be the same mRNA vaccine as the primary series. However, an alternative mRNA vaccine can be used if the primary series product is not available.

Who is eligible for a booster dose now?

The CDC has outlined four groups of people who are newly eligible to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

The recommendations from the CDC and VDH do not include individuals who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. Anyone who received Moderna or J&J COVID-19 vaccine should not seek an additional booster dose of Pfizer vaccine, and should wait for future recommendations from the CDC and VDH.

Vaccine and Registration Data Dashboard

What information is included on the vaccine data dashboard?

The Vaccine Data Dashboard highlights key indicators of progress and status in the Fairfax Health District, including:

  • Total doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered among Fairfax Health District residents;
  • Aggregate number of doses administered by date of vaccination;
  • Number and proportion of residents who’ve received at least one dose;
  • Number and proportion of residents who are fully vaccinated;
  • Vaccination progress by age group, including among adolescents; and
  • Race and ethnicity data among residents who’ve received at least one dose and scheduled/registered through the Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS).

Health Department Vaccine Cancellations

How do I reschedule or cancel and appointment?

To cancel or reschedule an appointment, please visit VAMS and click the Manage Appointment button. If you need assistance, please call our call center: 703-324-7404.

 

Information about Variants

Should vaccinated people worry about the Delta Variant?

Most transmission is happening among the unvaccinated and in areas with low vaccination rates. COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and might also help protect people around them.

Current data shows that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against most variants currently spreading in the United States, including the Delta variant. However, the Delta variant might cause illness in some people even after they are fully vaccinated. While vaccinated people represent a very small number of transmissions, emerging evidence points that some vaccinated people can be contagious if they are infected with the Delta variant and can spread it to others.

Are vaccines working as expected?

Nearly 190 million vaccinated people in the United States have a very strong degree of protection against the variants, including Delta. Fully vaccinated people are overwhelmingly avoiding severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Unvaccinated people account for most of the hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S.

Do I need to wear a mask?

As of August 3: Based on the CDC’s latest guidance, in areas of substantial or high transmission, everyone should wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant and protect others. In the Fairfax Health District, we are currently experiencing substantial community transmission. As a result everyone, including individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, should wear a mask in public indoor settings. Indoor masking in an important approach to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and should be combined with other strategies or “layers of prevention.” In addition to masking, people should:

  • Get vaccinated if they have not done so already. No appointments are needed and walk-ins are available. Vaccinations are free.
  • Stay home when you’re ill except to get tested or see a healthcare provider.
  • Maintain 6 feet physical distancing from others.
  • Practice good handwashing.
  • Get tested if symptomatic or if you spent time with some who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Adhere to health department recommendations for isolation and quarantine if you are infected or are a close contact of an infected person.
  • Stay in touch with the most current information in Fairfax County.

Are vaccines effective against the Delta variant?

Yes! COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. It also helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. More than 75 percent of Fairfax Health District residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But that means 25 percent have not. With the Delta variant, vaccination is more urgent than ever to help stem the rise in cases.

CDC Vaccine FAQ

Syringe

 

Virginia Department of Health FAQ

VA Covid

Fairfax Virtual Assistant