HENRICO Va.-- The effort to vaccinate thousands of people Central Virginia continued at the Richmond Raceway, and those volunteering to help get shots into arms said they feel a responsibility to pitch in and help protect their communities from the virus.
Nurses from Henrico County Public School, like 55-year-old Elizabeth Piper, have been helping with administering vaccinations since the third week of January.
Piper has worked for the district for a decade, and said this year has been the most difficult with kids learning virtually outside of the building.
"It's been sad, so fingers crossed that we're headed in the right direction," said Piper. "I think we are putting a big dent into the COVID nonsense, and we just look forward to normalcy."
Piper said giving the vaccine is her way of helping to get schools back up and running, and it’s also a way to help protect our state’s elderly.
"Nobody likes a shot," she explained. "It goes away quickly, and the impact it makes is huge."
Working 13 to 14 hour days can be exhausting, according to Piper. "I'm no spring chicken," she noted.
But she said it’s worth it because it’s rewarding.
"Everybody has been so thankful," Piper explained. "I always apologize for the bit of a bee sting they get with the shot, but everybody is like at this point, I'll do whatever it takes because I just want to see my family, my grandchildren."
Volunteers will be giving out second dose shots at the Raceway on Thursday.
On Friday and Saturday, Henrico officials said they will hold two additional vaccine clinics. Friday, they will be giving out first doses of Pfizer shots, and Saturday will be the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.
Officials also note some of those listed in Phase 1b, like grocery store workers and postal workers, who just became eligible to get the shot on Monday could likely be getting their vaccine this weekend.