10 On Your Side gets inside look at new mass vaccine center in Newport News as several set to open in Hampton Roads

COVID-19 Vaccine

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Thursday was build-out day at the newest Virginia Peninsula community vaccination center. 

This one is located in the old Ferguson Shared Services Center at 13771 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News and is expected to open April 27.

The center will give up to 1,000 vaccines a day from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The Newport News mass vaccination center will replace the current vaccination center at Christopher Newport University. CNU’s final clinic will be April 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who get their first vaccine at CNU will be contacted to get their second dose at the new clinic at the Ferguson Shared Services Center.

The man in charge is AshBritt Management & Logistics Vice President Jason Fawcett. He gave 10 On Your Side a guided tour. 

“These are the cattle lines for each of the time periods for appointments, 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, and so on,” Fawcett said.  

Fawcett then walked down the long hallway to the check-in stations.

“We will have 20 stations, folks with laptops… Once you are finished through registration, you will then proceed through other lines to the vaccination areas,” he said.

There will be 100 staff members, 70% of whom will be hired locally. The Pfizer vaccine will be administered by 24 nurses to 30 people every 15 minutes.

“We will have plexiglass partitions that go up between each seat for social distancing,” Fawcett said.

We saw the high-tech freezer reading negative 19 degrees Celsius, which is about two below zero Fahrenheit. Pfizer needs to be cooled to negative 5 to negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Outside are three motor coaches which are part of the strategy for community vaccinations. 

“I think we will be able to consistently fill the seats, we just got to get people registered and get them to come out,” said Fawcett, adding he’s not concerned about declining vaccination numbers. 

“There is some hesitation, but there is only a 5-8% burn rate for people not showing for appointments… I think the average is 10%,” he said.

 Again, you must have an appointment to get vaccinated. We asked what about just walking in to the clinic in Newport News. 

“No, you need to make a reservation. We are not there yet.” 

Fawcett also showed 10 On Your Side the motor coaches, which will be used to reach out into the communities.

“It allows us to go into a recreation center, high school parking lot, gym… It is set up for 250 doses where people walk right up and in,” Fawcett said.  

Apparently, due to COVID-19 live concert disruptions, a lot of these motor coaches are available to rent.

“We are excited to partner with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to offer another opportunity for individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Newport News,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS. “The vaccine has proven to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 and helping those who do get COVID-19 from becoming seriously ill. I encourage everyone to get a vaccine as soon as possible.”

The AshBritt Management & Logistics and IEM Health Community Vaccination Center will open in Newport News Tuesday, at the Hampton Coliseum on Thursday, and they will take over the Virginia Beach CVC at the Convention Center beginning Monday.   

First and second shots will be offered and the public can sign-up online. Those with appointments should not show up more than 20 minutes before their slot.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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