Weekly ‘Walk-up Wednesday’ vaccination event planned for Richmond’s southside

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond City Health District (RCHD) is offering COVID-19 shots to anyone 18 years and older during its weekly “Walk-up Wednesdays” vaccination event.

On Wednesday, the city will hold its first walk-up event at George Wythe High School on Richmond’s southside from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; no appointment is needed.

Public Health Nurse Amy Snearer hopes to give out 400 COVID-19 vaccines during the five-hour time frame. However, she said they are in desperate need of one age group to make the effort to come out to these events.

Virginia Department of Health data shows more than 280,000 young adults between the ages of 16 and 29 are fully vaccinated, but Snearer said there is a group missing.

“I’d like to hit that college-age; that’s what I’m not seeing,” she said.

Over the course of the pandemic, 20–29-year-olds have led the COVID case count for the state.

“They’re getting it and spreading it, and not getting as sick; taking it home,” Snearer said. “So, we really need to hit that crew, and they’re coming home from college now.”

Snearer hopes with these “Walk-up Wednesdays” at George Wythe High School will help boost the vaccine numbers for young adults.

“People can wake up, decide to get vaccinated that day; grab a cup of coffee and then drive over to George Wythe High School and get vaccinated,” said Cat Long, spokeswoman for the RCHD.

No appointment - no problem!

Staff will register you on-site, and you will not have to come back for a second dose.

“We’re using Johnson & Johnson vaccines for these walk-up events,” Long said. “It’s easier both for the folks being vaccinated, and then it’s also easier for us when running the management of these walk-up clinics.”

While the J&J vaccine was temporarily put on hold in April, it is now back in the mix and health leaders say it is safe.

“It was one in every one-million who may have had an issue with blood clotting, but very, very safe,” Snearer said.

According to Long, if people who attend these events in Richmond or Henrico have a strong preference, they can go to the website and schedule an appointment to select a different type of vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer).

“Feels great! Yeah, I am really excited to have it,” said Kathy Mendes.

While Mendes did not get J&J Tuesday, she understands the hesitation but was ready to get any of the vaccines no matter what.

“Yes, I was super willing right away,” she said.

Health leaders want more people like Mendes to walk through the doors at various vaccination events.

“The way we’re going to get to herd immunity is for more people to get the vaccine,” Snearer said.

Meanwhile, the Richmond City Health District holds vaccination events every Tuesday at George Wythe High School; you must make an appointment for this event.

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