NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health has upgraded and expanded the Military Circle Mall vaccination site into a one-stop clinic for boosters, initial shots, and once they are approved, vaccinations for younger children.
Beginning Saturday, the Community Vaccination Center will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
VDH Chief Deputy Commissioner Dr. Parham Jaberi says only slightly less than half of eligible Virginians have their first full round of vaccination.
“That is a reminder that while we’re talking about booster doses, this is a site that’s ready to vaccinate anyone eligible for vaccinations 12 and up,” he said.
The renovated and expanded site at the former Macy’s store will be able to give as many as 1,000 shots each day, including boosters for people who’ve had their full first round of Pfizer. It will also have Moderna and Johnson and Johnson shots for people still getting started.
Jaberi says, right now, the booster is available for Pfizer patients 65 and older, or 18 and older with underlying medical conditions or high-risk environments. At least six months must have passed since the second Pfizer shot.
He says they can expect the booster to be very similar to what they felt before “where about three-quarters of the people do experience some injection soreness and pain. It’s very much like what people experienced in the first and second go-round.”
The vaccination center will also provide, once they’re approved, the shots so many parents have been waiting for: vaccinations for 5 to 11-year-olds.
That approval is expected toward the end of October.
VDH partnered with Florida-based AshBritt, an emergency response consulting and construction company for the renovation of the Military Circle site. It will include private space for parents and children so kids will be more comfortable.
“Children are not just little adults,” Jaberi said during a Friday morning media tour. “They require more training. We want to make sure we expedite the vaccination process while they’re here in a mass setting, which could be a little unnerving.”
You will need to make an appointment, and if you’re getting a Pfizer booster, a record of your initial shots. Jaberi says boosters are expected to be approved for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson patients in the near future.