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Richmond Henrico Health District gives update on vaccine rollout

Posted at 10:52 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 11:17:37-04

RICHMOND, Va.-- The Virginia Department of Health is expected to hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss when they plan to have additional mass vaccination clinics on Richmond’s Southside.

This comes as Richmond Henrico Health District officials are calling Tuesday’s mass vaccination clinic at Celebration Church on Midlothian Turnpike a big success, stating they vaccinated 861 people.

"Our team said that it went really well, and our clinic flow was good," said Cat Long with the Richmond Henrico Health District. "Most people waited about 10 to 15 minutes in line. There were there was a long line at some points, but it moves really quickly."

Tuesday's event at Celebration Church was the first mass vaccination clinic in Richmond’s Southside, and while officials set aside slots specifically for Southside residents, they also served others who lived further away.

Long said the district has been using all of their weekly vaccine supply, but they are asking for more doses.

“We've been advocating to the state to increase the amount of supply that we get week to week, which of course all the localities are," she explained, "The state has to make tough decisions in dividing up the vaccines between localities, but we are doing everything we can to increase our vaccine supply."

Many of the Richmond Henrico Health District's vaccine doses go to mass vaccination events, but Long said they also distribute some to pharmacies and primary care doctors.

"We're particularly looking for people who serve lower income folks, older adults and Black and Latino folks," said Long. "And we ask those providers to first vaccinate their existing patient population, so they're the patients they serve in their doctor's offices, the folks that come to their pharmacy regularly."

While some health districts in Virginia have begun vaccinating those in Phase 1C, the Richmond Henrico Health District isn’t there yet.

“Richmond, because it's an urban area, and Henrico County as well, has a lot of folks in Phase 1B," Long noted. "We've got a lot of essential workers who work in the city who live in the city, so we're a little bit behind some of our more rural counterparts."

Long expects the district to start vaccinating those in phase 1C sometime in mid-April.

Remember, in order to get vaccinated at these mass vaccinations sites, you have to pre-register by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682). Additional languages are available, and TTY users should call 7-1-1.