Why the Richmond Raceway mass vaccination site is closing at the end of May

Posted at 3:26 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 18:45:29-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Richmond Raceway is closing May 27. Between now and then, Henrico County will hold multiple walk-up vaccination events at the eastern Henrico site.

The walk-up events open to residents of Henrico and Richmond who are 16 and older and are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, May 11 and 12
  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 19 and 20
  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 26 and 27

“Henrico County is doing all it can to break down barriers and make the vaccine accessible to everyone,” Henrico County Emergency Manager Jackson Baynard said. “We want to make one more push to reach as many people as possible with the effort at Richmond Raceway. These walk-up, no-appointment events are designed to make it easier for anyone who wants to get vaccinated.”

As demand for the COVID-19 vaccine falls, local health departments are switching tactics.

The walk-up vaccine clinic is one such change.

A walk-up clinic Wednesday attracted not-yet-vaccinated people to George Wythe High School in South Richmond.

Some said they were initially hesitant about getting the vaccine. Others said it was the convenience of the walk-up that appealed to them.

"That was one of the major reasons why I did it. I kept saying I was going to make an appointment, make an appointment, never did. But, once I've seen this become available I just decided to jump on," LeKeith Staples said outside the clinic.

Some pharmacies that are a part of the federal vaccination program in Virginia also announced this week they're accepting walk-ups -- including Walmart, Sam's Club, and C-V-S.

"Mass vaccination events have been doing a pretty good job of reaching people who have the flexibility to make a schedule, can look out and look far and be able to be, like, 'Okay, this is what my life's going to look like this coming week.' Folks who may be making -- not have that type of flexibility this is a great type of event for them," Virginia Slattum, Vaccine Clinic POD Manager, said about the walk-up clinic.