Celebration Church COVID-19 vaccine is game changer for Richmond’s southside

Celebration Church COVID-19 vaccine is game changer for Richmond’s southside

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s an empty parking lot and dark building now, but Tuesday, Richmond health officials will turn Celebration Church into a once a week COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

“We’re very excited to be in south Richmond for a number of reasons. One about 45% of the Richmond population lives in south Richmond,” said Amy Popovich, RHHD Nurse Manager.

The church, located on Midlothian Turnpike, will operate only on Tuesdays, to start. This is by appointment-only, so no walkups allowed. But the clinic will expand access to the shot by allowing more vulnerable communities to step forward.

“They have and they hold very crucial jobs in the community to maintain the economy going,” said Karla Almendarez-Ramos, City of Richmond Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Since announcing the clinic last week, Almendarez-Ramos says between 60 and 80 calls came in to her office of multicultural affairs in recent days.

They help people register in their own language and she says it proves their outreach efforts are working.

“It was very clear and important to reach out culturally our Latino - Hispanic community needs a trusted source of information. Somebody that can clarify doubts,” said Almendarez-Ramos.

Celebration Church will join Richmond Raceway and Arthur Ashe Center as community vaccine clinics for Richmond and Henrico. The health districts remain in phase 1B with plans to open up to 1C in April.

They hope to inoculate between 800 and 1,000 people per event at the southside location with plans to expand.

“We need a couple of times to assess the site, assess the flow, the parking and the conditions, etc. but we are committed to being in south Richmond and having vaccine accessible to those residents,” said Popovich.

Another clinic is set to open in Varina at the end of this month.

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