HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Just over two months after administering their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the mass vaccination clinic at the Richmond Raceway administered their 100,000th dose Saturday morning.
Tom Leonard, who owns the Farmer's Market in Short Pump bearing his name, had no idea he would be receiving the clinic's 100,000th dose.
"I feel pretty special today... I'm pretty excited about this," Leonard said.
Leonard received his second of two shots of the Pfizer vaccine Saturday. Both inoculations were performed at the Raceway and spoke highly of the way the clinic is being run.
"I was able to jump right in there, very professional just right out, they give you the shot," Leonard explained.
Leonard said was grateful to be the clinic's 100,000th customer.
"I've had, you know, a few friends of mine died because of this thing," Leonard said. "They were older and they got it and they died. And so they wish they could have come in here and gotten their shots when they got sick. So I'm happy to be here."
For the clinic's leader, Zach Zellner, it was an exciting milestone.
"[I'm] very proud of the team, but more happy for the community that we've made it to this point," Zellner, the clinic's incident commander, said.
From the beginnings in mid-January, officials said that through a combination of volunteers, staff and the Virginia National Guard, they have built up an operation that can do over 7,000 vaccinations per day. But officials are continuing to build up and aim to get to 10,000 shots per day.
"We're happy to get to 100,000 doses, we'd like to get to 200,000 much quicker," Zellner said. "[The] more vaccine that that we're given, the more arms we'll get it in."
And the more shots they administer, Zellner says, the more families -- who may have stayed apart during the pandemic -- they can help reconnect.
"It's fun to sit by that exit door and just see the smiles underneath masks," Zellner said. "That they know 14 days from now, they're fully vaccinated. They can start spending their time with them."
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.