Delaware has begun Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, which includes all individuals 65 and over, and frontline essential workers including: fire, police, correctional officers, teachers and education staff (including child care providers), U.S. postal workers, food manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, and grocery store workers.
More than 200,000 Delawareans qualify for vaccination in this phase, and multiple options for residents to be vaccinated will begin this week and then expand in coming weeks, including large vaccination events with a new appointment request system. Efforts will also continue to vaccinate Phase 1A health care personnel and nursing home residents and staff who have not yet been vaccinated.
Officials have scheduled five drive-through vaccination events for persons 65 and older, as well as for remaining Phase 1A personnel, on Friday, January 22 at the Delaware City Division of Motor Vehicles and on Saturday and Sunday, January 23 and 24, at both the Delaware City and Georgetown DMV locations.
These vaccination events are by appointment only. Delawareans who are 65 or older can register at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, January 20.
With limited vaccination doses available from the federal government, officials strongly caution that it could take weeks or months for all 200,000 Phase 1B eligible individuals to be vaccinated. The multiple options available will include the following:
- K-12 educators: This week, the Department of Education will be announcing vaccination options specifically for educators and school staff. The Department is partnering with Acme/Safeway pharmacies to host vaccination events for educators at multiple school sites throughout the state, and to allow educators to be vaccinated at Acme/Safeway pharmacy locations. These options will become available the week of January 25.
- Child care workers: The Department of Education’s Office of Child Care Licensing will be providing vaccination options specifically for child care workers. This model will closely resemble the K-12 educators and school staff and will be released the week of January 25.
- Correctional officers: The Department of Correction began receiving vaccine earlier this month. Officers performing 1A functions have been offered the opportunity to get vaccinated, as have a small number of inmates and officers over the age of 65 w
ith serious medical conditions. DOC will continue receiving vaccine as supply allows and will continue vaccinating inmates and officers in order based on age and health condition.
- Other frontline essential workers: Vaccination planning for eligible frontline essential workers is underway and is a partnership between DPH and the Division of Small Business. The Division of Small Business will release information in the coming days that will assist employers who want to host their own vaccination events for their employees or who want to help their employees learn where to get vaccinated. In the meantime, questions from frontline employers about the vaccination process can be directed to the Division of Small Business at Covid19faq@delaware.gov.
- Pharmacies: A list of pharmacies taking COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be available at de.gov/covidvaccine starting the week of January 25. The list will grow as additional pharmacies receive doses. Pharmacies are expected to be a primary choice for vaccinations as more vaccine becomes available, but as with other methods, they will have limited doses in the early part of the effort. Pharmacies are asked to limit their efforts in their stores at this time to Phase 1A and Phase 1B individuals 65 and over.
- Primary care providers: Vaccines will be available to those 65 and over from some primary care and specialty care providers, such as medical practices, urgent care sites, and for patients of Federally Qualified Health Centers. Some providers will contact their own patients to offer vaccination appointments, and others may invite the public to request appointments. Medical providers who wish to vaccinate individuals must enroll in the state’s immunization system through a separate process. Information and instructions can be found on the Medical Provider page of de.gov/covidvaccine.
The registration system currently for Delawareans ages 65 and older will have the following steps:
- An individual will request an appointment at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov which will put them on a waiting list.
- When appointments become available, invitation emails will be sent to individuals to schedule an appointment online for an upcoming event. These invitations will be unique and cannot be shared.
Seniors with computer access are advised to request an appointment through this online system. For seniors without computer access only, a phone line will be announced Wednesday to take requests for an appointment and, as slots become available, to help complete the appointment process.
Delawareans 65 and older who request an appointment but do not immediately receive an invitation email will continue to be on the waiting list to receive an invitation for future vaccination events.
Any individuals who arrive without an appointment for this weekend’s events should not expect to be vaccinated. In the next few weeks, additional large-scale vaccination venues are expected to be brought online to vaccinate Phase 1B individuals and future phase groups. As the state progresses through and past Phase 1B, the appointment system will be used for individuals in future phases.