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COVID situation at Augusta Health showing signs of improving

Augusta HealthThe current inpatient COVID-19 census at Augusta Health is 48, a decrease of nearly 25 percent from last week, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

In the 24 hours preceding 9 a.m. on Monday, January 24, 95 new positive cases of COVID were diagnosed at Augusta Health testing sites. It was again a busy weekend at the testing sites with 111 positives reported Sunday morning, 192 positives reported Saturday morning and 196 positives reported Friday morning. Today, 89 Augusta Health employees are absent with illness.

Augusta Health is working to pivot its clinical COVID focus to aggressive outpatient management. In addition to the significant vaccination efforts, Augusta Health is treating infected patients who meet criteria with Monoclonal Antibody infusions (MABS) when supplies are available. MABS infusion follows a positive COVID test and a physician referral.

Last week, Augusta Health received limited doses of Strovimab, so the number of infusions was also limited. There were 53 patients infused, for a total of 930 patients since the clinic was opened. Less than 5 percent of those who receive a MABS infusion need to be admitted to the hospital later. Augusta Health expects to receive 78 doses this week.

Please vaccinate, wear masks indoors even if vaccinated, wash hands frequently and stay socially distant from others when possible. Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce spread of COVID and to protect yourself from severe COVID that requires hospitalization.

Vaccination eligibility

Augusta Health is vaccinating everyone age 5 and older who lives, works or goes to school in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for individuals age 18 and over. Pfizer vaccine is authorized for individuals age 5 and older; a parent or legal guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of those under the age of 18. Booster criteria vary by vaccine, so please be aware of the criteria for the vaccine selected.

Children age 5-11 years old

To ensure patient safety and in awareness of the different dosage for the 5-11 year old age group, there are separate clinics for ages 5-11 only at the on-campus location. Again, a parent or legal guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of those under the age of 18.
Please make appointments at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Booster eligibility information

Anyone over the age of 12 can receive third-dose COVID-19 booster shots. Children age 5-11 who are immunocompromised or immune suppressed can also receive a booster.

When can you get the booster?

  • At least 5 months after you completed your Pfizer or Moderna series
  • Either the Pfizer or Moderna series, you can get a 3rddose in 28 days
  • At least 2 months after Johnson & Johnson vaccination

Which booster can you get?

  • If you are age 18 or older, you can get any booster shot you prefer.
  • If you are age 12 or older, you can get a Pfizer booster.

Make an appointment at vaccinate.augustahealth.com.

For patient safety concerns, vaccines will be offered on specific days. Please be sure make an appointment for a clinic that is offering the vaccine you want. If you are registering for a booster, and are switching vaccine, make an appointment for the type of booster you want. For example, if you originally received a Pfizer vaccine, but would like a Moderna booster, make an appointment in a Moderna clinic.

If you have questions about eligibility, please call Augusta Health’s Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122.

Please bring your COVID Vaccination Record Card to the booster appointment.

Vaccinations in primary care offices

Vaccinations for COVID-19 continue in all Augusta Medical Group primary care offices. Patients who prefer to receive a vaccination from their personal physician should contact their doctor’s office to be scheduled into the next available vaccination appointment block.

Community-based clinics

This week, Augusta Health’s Community Vaccination Team will be providing vaccines at Liberty Pint on Tuesday and Bridgewater College on Friday from 10 am – 1 pm. To date, more than 10,000 vaccines have been administered at clinics within vulnerable communities by the Augusta Health Task Force.

Community organizations that would like to partner with Augusta Health for a Vaccination Clinic can contact VaccinationTaskForce@augustahealth.com for more information on the requirements.

Large on-campus vaccination clinics

Please make an appointment for on-campus clinics.
Go to vaccinate.augustahealth.com to view the links and schedule an appointment. Information about new clinics, the links and the criteria for each link, are posted as available. On-campus clinics this week are:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 25: Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Clinics from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for those age 18 and older. For first dose, second dose and booster dose available to those age 18 and older. Please verify criteria before registration.
  • Thursday, Jan. 27: Pfizer Clinic for ages 5-11 only from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. This clinic is for those ages 5-11 only. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of the child under the age of 18. The link is open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com
  • Friday, Jan. 28: Pfizer Clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those age 12 and older. For first dose and second dose available to those age 12 and older, booster dose available to those age 16 and older. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of a child under the age of 18. Please verify criteria before registration.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 1: Pfizer Clinic from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for those age 12 and older. For first dose and second dose available to those age 12 and older, booster dose available to those age 16 and older. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of a child under the age of 18. Please verify criteria before registration.
  • Thursday, Feb. 3: Pfizer Clinic from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for those age 12 and older. For first dose and second dose available to those age 12 and older, booster dose available to those age 16 and older. A parent or guardian must be present to consent to vaccination of a child under the age of 18. Please verify criteria before registration.
  • Friday, Feb. 4: Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Clinics from 9 a.m. to 12 noon for those age 18 and older. For first dose, second dose and booster dose available to those age 18 and older. Please verify criteria before registration.

The links are open at vaccinate.augustahealth.com

Vaccination Call Center

Not everyone has access to the internet. Others just have questions. For assistance, call Augusta Health’s Vaccination Call Center at (540) 332-5122. The Call Center is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to answer questions and help to schedule vaccination appointments.

Homebound patients are being vaccinated through a pilot program with Central Shenandoah EMS. Contact the Vaccination Call Center for more information.


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