Thousands get COVID-19 vaccine at new Virginia State mass clinic

Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 12:27:21-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va.--Thousands of people who live in the Chesterfield and Crater Health Districts got vaccinated Wednesday at a new mass vaccination site inside Virginia State University's multi-purpose center.

The site opened Wednesday morning, and hundreds waited in line outside the building to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Yay, we're so excited," exclaimed Chesterfield resident Karen Rowe.

Rowe hasn't seen her grandchildren in a year, and she's eager to return to normalcy.

"There's just an ache in my heart," she said. "I truly miss them.”

The mass vaccination clinic has about 150 staff members and plans to vaccinate 3,000 people each day. The site will be open six days a week and has a goal of eventually giving out 6,000 doses a day, according to officials.

Day one came with a few hiccups, as officials said they experienced a few glitches in the computer system that kept some elderly residents waiting in line for close to an hour.

“I don't like people getting cold, and I don't want anyone to get sick," explained Chesterfield resident Richard Whitehurst. "I’m thankful for being able to get the shot, but I just think it could be organized a little bit better."

Despite the wait and the chilly temperatures, everyone shared a common feeling of gratitude that they are now one step closer to protection against this deadly virus.

"It just shows that people do care about each other, and I really want to thank them from heart," said Chuck Cunningham of Chesterfield.

With the potential for severe weather Thursday, officials say they are looking into alternative plans, so people can wait indoors to get their vaccine.