HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The first small vaccination hub in Henrico County’s west end opened Thursday, bringing in dozens of people for their COVID-19 vaccines.
This vaccination event at the Islamic Center of Henrico is not the first vaccination hub in the Richmond/Henrico area, but it is all part of the health district’s plan to create more pop-up locations in local communities.
Mass vaccination events will continue at the Richmond Raceway for a period of time, but the health district is now focused on bringing these vaccines to you in your community.
“In Richmond and Henrico, we’re getting to a good place where our supply and demand are starting to equalize,” said Richmond City & Henrico County Health District spokeswoman Cat Long.
Roughly 250 people, including Debra Taylor, were inoculated Thursday at the Islamic Center of Henrico.
“It doesn’t hurt,” Taylor said.
Taylor received her first dose at the Richmond Raceway, but for her second shot, she was able to schedule an appointment at this vaccination hub in the community where she lives.
“I think the smaller venues are very comforting, and I think people will appreciate that,” Taylor said.
“The main reason to do an event here is a lot of our community feels more comfortable coming to a location that they know,” said Amir Saeed, Chief Information Officer for ICNA Relief. “Some people are hesitant about going to the Raceway, so it was important for us to do it here.”
In collaboration with the Henrico Health District, ICNA Relief, along with the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), teamed up about a month ago in order to make this all possible.
“We wanted to go into the community to make vaccines more physically accessible so that it’s closer, but then more culturally accessible,” Long said.
It is why one husband and wife were able to schedule their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the spot where they worship.
“The vaccine is not hurting me,” she said. “It’s good, it’s good for us.”
“Having it in the community and more convenient to them and knowing that now they’re eligible, they’re very excited,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan, who stopped by the event. “I think it’s all a matter of access.”
That is the focus now for these health leaders, bringing the vaccines to you!
“We’re also starting a new ‘Walkup Wednesday’ at George Wythe in addition to our Tuesday, which are by appointment,” Long said. “We’re also starting a new clinic over at Virginia Union University.”
All of this being done to help people walk away, not only with an “I’m Vaccinated” sticker of proof, but a feeling of completion.
“It feels great to know that I’ve gotten both shots now,” Taylor said.
The plan is to hold the vaccination event each week at the Islamic Center of Henrico for the next month or so.
Meanwhile, Henrico County plans to hold its second walk-up event Friday at the Richmond Raceway.
McClellan believes this will be a game-changer for some residents with limited access.
“For a lot of people who don’t have access to the internet or had trouble navigating the registration system, it’s going to be huge,” she said.
More details on the other pop-up vaccination hubs are expected to be released in the near future.
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