The United States federal government is coming to Virginians’ doorsteps to ask for their personal medical information and vaccination status. Vaccination efforts in the western Tidewater counties of Franklin, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, and Southampton County are ramping up to include door-to-door operations.
“In some rural parts of the region, residents shouldn’t be surprised if they get a knock on the door soon. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s your country calling, and it wants to tell you about free COVID-19 vaccines,” the The Virginian-Pilot reported.
In a statement by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) & FEMA announced recently its employees will begin to canvas area businesses and then go door to door to ask Virginia residents about their personal medical history and vaccination status. The funds provided to pay the FEMA employees is the result of the COVID-19 spending plan from March 2021. While the VDH or FEMA employees will not be carrying live vaccines, they will be asking personal medical questions to register unvaccinated populations.
Dr. Todd Wagner, director of the Western Tidewater Health District (WTHD) said:
WTHD is excited to collaborate with VDEM and FEMA to increase access to information about the COVID-19 vaccine in our communities
While we have come far in our vaccine rollout, we are in the final stretch where every vaccination counts. The Community Information Team is one strategy of many we are implementing to reach our goal of 70 percent of adults vaccinated against COVID-19.
The regional health agency added that currently, 47.1% of the adult population in the Western Tidewater Health district has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Republicans across the country are livid with the proposal, citing private property rights and individual liberty concerns. Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11) stated, “Think about the mechanisms they would have to build to be able to actually execute that massive of a thing. And then think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could then go door to door and take your guns. They could go door to door and take your Bibles.”
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) tweeted, “The Biden Administration wants to knock on your door to see if you’re vaccinated. What’s next? Knocking on your door to see if you own a gun?”
The Biden Administration wants to knock on your door to see if you’re vaccinated.
What’s next? Knocking on your door to see if you own a gun?
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 8, 2021
Virginia Delegate Emily Brewer (R-Isle Of Wright) is a small business owner and lives in the area where this vaccination campaign has started. She responded to concerns of the door to door vaccines in this statement received via text message:
The idea that people are going door to door to check on vaccination status raises serious privacy concerns. Citizens have had ample opportunity to get a vaccine free of charge and the idea that state employees know who may or may not be vaccinated raises HIPAA and privacy sharing concerns — especially about the state keeping a list of these individuals. I ask that the government respect the choices its citizens have made.
More vaccination clinics asking for personal healthcare information will be coming to Virginia in the coming weeks.
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Matt Colt Hall is a reporter for The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattColtHall on Twitter. Send tips to [email protected].
Photo “Door Knocking” by Leadnow Canada. CC BY-SA 2.0.