'Empty' VSU mass vaccination center closes: 'It’s been a blessing'

Vurus Outbreak New York Vaccine
Posted at 5:04 PM, May 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 23:19:19-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Saturday marked the final day of COVID-19 vaccinations at Virginia State University's mass vaccination clinic.

For the past month, the center has offered walk-in vaccinations, and with COVID-19 vaccines widely available at pharmacies and doctor’s offices across the state, officials said it was time for this clinic to close its doors.

The VSU site was the second largest federally funded community vaccination center in the state, giving out more than 92,000 doses in just under 75 days.

The first day of vaccinations on March 17 was a cold and rainy day, and the weather the final day in operation was reminiscent, but the lines that existed that first day were nonexistent.

VSU Mass Vaccination Clinic Saturday, March 6, 2021.

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“It’s empty," said Chesterfield resident Tracey Brown. “It was easy. I walked right in."

Brown was relieved to get her second Pfizer dose at the site Saturday, but she wasn’t always on board with getting vaccinated.

“I was on the fence about it for a while, especially with me having a medical condition, but it just seemed like the right thing to do," she explained. "I’m happy with the decision that I made."

Alfred and Debra Tucker of Petersburg were two of the center's final patients.

“I think it’s been a blessing," Debra explained. "We’re thankful and grateful that it was so close to home right at home basically.”

As staff cleaned up the facility, they want people to know there are still opportunities to get vaccinated in the community.

Waverly native Micah Justice believes the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the potential side effects.

“Obviously, it’s a personal decision, but your life is a personal decision, and this is important for your family, for your coworkers, for anyone that you interact with," Justice noted.

VSU offered the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as well as the two dose Pfizer shot Saturday. Staff helped those who chose Pfizer schedule their second doses at pharmacies and other nearby locations.