SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Suffolk church opened its doors Wednesday to give eligible members of the community an opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Western Tidewater Health District teamed up with the East End Baptist Church to hold a special mass vaccination clinic on Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m.
The appointment only clinic was specifically for residents in the health district who are 65 and older.
People scheduled appointments for the clinic by calling their local health districts or the newly-created vaccine call center, which is available weekdays at 757-514-4570.
“The more west you get in our district, the more and more antiquated the technology gets so there are some challenges we’re working on some other ways to overcome those,” explained Will Drewery. Emergency Manager with the Western Tidewater Health District. “The call center is one of those, so that’s available not just to the City of Suffolk residents but everybody that’s lives in the health district.”
According to a spokesperson with Sentara, they provided the Western Tidewater Health District with vaccines in late January and that additional supply of vaccines came at a critical time.
Recently, Western Tidewater Health District staff had to make the difficult decision to call police after some people showed up at health departments banging on windows and pulling on doors, Drewery said.
He added that he understands the frustration, but can only do so much with the number of vaccines they have been given.
However, Wednesday’s clinic truly was a community effort and brought some hope for those getting vaccinated.
Senior pastor at East End Baptist Church Wayne Fasion said they were happy to help.
“As we go through the day, just looking at the relief in people’s eyes, looking at the hope and the sense of gratitude, it has really been a blessing to us,” said Fasion. “And so we’ve been able to serve our community. We’ve seen people from all walks of life come through and there just seems like a sense of joy in terms of being able to get the vaccination.”
Health officials said they will host similar clinics when they have the vaccine available to do so.
Appointments for future clinics can be made by calling your local health department in the Western Tidewater district. If you can’t get through, health officials advise you to keep calling.
Here are those numbers:
- Suffolk: 757-514-4781
- Isle of Wight: 757-279-3070
- Franklin: 757-562-6109
- Southampton: 757-653-3040