NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to operate a mass vaccination clinic in Norfolk.
“Help is coming from the Federal government, the state, and through local partners,” Jim Redick, director of Emergency Preparedness and Response for Norfolk, wrote in a letter Tuesday to the mayor, City Council and City Manager Chip Filer.
The clinic is contingent upon White House approval, Redick said. Coordination is already underway and FEMA officials arrived onsite Monday afternoon to start their assessments.
The news comes as FEMA is opening up vaccination sites across Virginia, including in Portsmouth, Petersburg and Danville. Others are also expected to open in Suffolk, Prince William and Southampton County.
Redick said Norfolk’s Unified Command participated on a call Saturday with leadership from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Health Department, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“There are many details to be worked out, but we have been selected as a site for FEMA’s Supplemental Allocation Vaccine Effort,” Redick wrote.
Redick said the plan is for FEMA and federal partners to begin administering the Pfizer vaccine at the former Macy’s in Military Circle Mall beginning Monday, March 29. The city has been using the mall as a vaccination site since early February.
Vaccine administration would run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week, for a daily output of 3,000 additional doses delivered in Norfolk.
Meanwhile, last week, the Norfolk Department of Public Health hosted five vaccination clinics and administered more than 3,100 doses.
Redick said the FEMA clinic will allow the Norfolk Health Department to withdraw its resources and instead focus and vaccine supply on neighborhood-level clinics.
Redick stressed that people need to be registered for the vaccine to make the best use of the FEMA resources coming into the city.
“According to Pete Buryk, CivicLab Director, with FEMA’s projected throughput of 3,000 doses per day, we will exhaust our current pre-registration backlog of residents with no vaccine (~25,000) in less than 2 weeks,” Redick wrote.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.