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Health district cancels appointments

First-dose vaccinations at two sites in the Western Tidewater Health District set for later this week have been canceled.

District Emergency Manager Will Drewery said first-dose appointments at the Workforce Center in Franklin and the Smithfield Center in Smithfield on Thursday and Friday have been canceled. However, second-dose appointments at those locations, and first-dose appointments at other locations including at the health departments in all four localities, remain the same.

Drewery said the change had to take place because of lack of vaccine to give out.

“We don’t have vaccine to give,” he said. “We’re only getting 800 first doses.”

Drewery said the 800-dose allocation for the health department likely will not change for the next four to six weeks.

“We’re asking for everybody’s patience,” he said. “As we get more vaccine, we hope to be able to turn the Workforce Center and Smithfield Center back on, because they’re both very successful sites.”

Drewery said the 800-dose allocation is a result of the state’s new system of allocating vaccine by population.

“The allocation isn’t determined by the health district,” he said. “We want to do more, and we’ve asked to do more.”

The health district still is doing a lot with a little, Drewery said. It received 900 doses to give out last week, but through a partnership with Sentara and Bon Secours, was able to triple that with doses provided by the health systems and administered 2,700 doses.

“They gave us some, because we have in the infrastructure to do it,” Drewery said.

Unfortunately, those without an appointment right now will have to wait a little longer. Currently, the health department locations are the only places for first-dose appointments, and they are reserved for people 65 and older.