PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Large COVID-19 vaccine clinics that once welcomed thousands have basically timed out.
“We’re moving away form the large vaccine clinics,” said Mary Morin, who is in charge of Sentara’s Vaccine Task Force.
Morin told WAVY.com that the Sentara-run community clinics set up for 300 people last week saw fewer than 40.
“Surveys were done in the communities and the number one place people now want to get their vaccine from is from their physician’s office,” Morin said.
So that’s what Sentara and other health groups are moving toward. Sentara will also get out shots to home-bound patients and offer them to patients admitted to their hospitals.
Morin explained, “We are saturated with opportunity to get vaccine. It doesn’t mean that there still isn’t work to be done around vaccine hesitancy.”
Gaylene Kanoyton’s ‘Get Out the Vaccine’ initiative is working on that.
“It’s about being creative and thinking outside the box right now so we can reach those 20 and 30 people to get vaccinated at a time,” Kanoyton said.
She said it’s no longer about looking for a shot, it’s about looking for arms to put them in. That means drawing people in with music, and neighborhood picnics, that will be staffed with professionals to answer questions about the vaccine for those still hesitant.
“This weekend we have team members who will be at youth sports, adult sports, going out and knocking on doors,” she said.
There will still be some smaller clinics set up in churches and schools and health departments and hospitals are looking to partner with organizations and events to get more shots into arms.
One of the easiest ways to find a shot is to click on vaccine finder and type in your zip code. You will get a list of all the places you can go within a few blocks or miles of your home.
If you’d like to get vaccinated at a local health department, you can get details at https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/
Dana Woodson with the City of Portsmouth confirmed the Sportsplex Vaccination Clinic closes Saturday, May 22. FEMA is leaving the Military Circle Mall Community Vaccination Center site that same day. The Virginia Department of Health will take over operations. The Norfolk site has administered more than 80,000 vaccine doses since opening.
FEMA created a video overview of its vaccination efforts in Hampton Roads, which it posted on YouTube.