RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts are launching four new community COVID-19 vaccination hubs around the two localities in September in an effort to reach those still unvaccinated.
People made their way through a new COVID-19 vaccination clinic inside the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center on Wednesday.
"I'm feeling okay. I mean, I feel like I'm going to be protected by this virus," Kamar Clark, a visitor at the new clinic, said.
Each of the locations will operate one day per week. Officials said the hubs will supplement their ongoing pop-up vaccination clinics that are done in conjunction with employers, faith communities, or community organizations.
- Second Baptist Church, 3300 Broad Rock Blvd. Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 North Laburnum Ave. Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- RHHD Downtown Location, 400 E. Cary St. Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- RHHD Henrico West Location, 8600 Dixon Powers Dr. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
"That remaining 40 to 50 percent who haven't gotten the vaccine, those are the folks we absolutely need to make sure we continue to work on whether it be hesitancy or whether it be access," Dr. Melissa Viray, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts' Deputy Director, said.
Lashay Walker is among those now getting the vaccine, saying that the current case surge driven by the delta variant convinced her to get the shot.
"It's just the way the numbers are going higher. It's getting scary. So I feel like we need to be protected at this point," Walker said.
Viray said that the delta variant has been behind a recent increase in vaccination rates. She hopes that the recent full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine will further increase vaccinations.
"When we've asked previously, safety has been a huge concern - we don't know, we're concerned, what about the outcomes," Viray said.
Viray said that the delta variant has also driven up demand for COVID testing. The Henrico Recreation Center and the Second Baptist Church locations will be offering testing at their locations. The testing will happen at different times during the day to allow for parking capacity.
As the variant is more contagious, Viray is urging those who are vaccinated to continue to take precautions.
"Watch out for symptoms. Stay home when we're sick. All those mitigation things we learned about last fall, last winter because they need to continue while we get everyone vaccinated.