Virginia State University rolls out two mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics

VSU rolls out two mobile vaccine clinics

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - As part of their public health initiative, Virginia State University is rolling out two new mobile vaccination clinics to help get more COVID-19 shots into the arms of people living in underserved communities.

With help from the Crater Health District and Chesterfield County Health, they’re hitting the road this week as part of their pilots for the clinic, which comes with examination rooms, refrigerators, and storage space.

“We want to get out further into the community for those who are in rural places and for some who don’t have the transportation to get the vaccines and immunizations,” said Donald Palm, provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Virginia State University.

One of these mobile clinics was in Prince George County on Wednesday, providing 300 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“It is to go out to areas that are hard to reach that can’t get to the community vaccination site,” said Jay Baxter, chief operating officer for the Virginia Department of Health.

On Thursday, the mobile clinics will go to Petersburg and Hopewell to provide 200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to people in underserved communities.

Baxter says they’re also working with the Elite Team, a contracted group from the state, to help with on-site registration and finding people who still need their shots in those underserved communities.

“They’re basically bridging the gap between them and us,” he said. “They’re going ahead of time to let them know that we’re coming so we can get an approximate number.”

Through this effort, Palm hopes Virginia State University can address health disparities while supporting equitable vaccine distribution.

“Getting to those residents and really convincing individuals that they need not only the vaccine but also their family and friends also need to take the vaccine,” he said. “The only way we can get back to normal is that we actually increase the number of vaccines that are injected into everybody’s arms.”

Within the next few weeks, Virginia State University says these mobile health units will move into areas within Chesterfield County.

Baxter also says they will use data from this week’s vaccine distribution sites to plan out their resources for these mobile vaccine clinics and where they will go next.

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