NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News health clinic opened on Monday to provide second COVID-19 vaccine doses to those who attended the same clinic at the end of March.
UnitedHealthcare, Southeastern Virginia Health System, and FiveMedicine put on the vaccination clinic at 48th Street Physicians.
A couple of weeks ago, employees helped vaccinate more than 700 people at the site.
Now, they’re encouraging those who got that first shot to return.
“Anything that can help you heighten your immune system to fight off this terrible COVID virus is key. It’s important for people to come out and finish up,” said Robert Cort, who is the vice president of sales for FiveMedicine.
FiveMedicine is based out of Washington, D.C. and is minority-owned. Cort says they were asked by UnitedHealthcare and Southeastern Virginia Health System to help provide services needed for the vaccination clinic especially in underserved communities.
Cort says they started out working with a program called Faith and Vaccines, which helped them vaccinate around 10,000 people.
Now, they’re helping out in Virginia communities to help with vaccine hesitancy among Black and brown communities.
“Being able to come here and serve them and some someone that looks like them, the people serving them looks like them. It reduces hesitancy. We find more people are coming to locations like this to get vaccinated because of it,” Cort said.
The easily accessible location, as well as being able to provide more appointments to people, is what helped Christian Calkins and Yue He get their shots.
He says she learned about the clinic from a fellow student. Calkins says he was having a hard time finding a location but now they’re excited to get their second shot completed.
“My mom’s got an autoimmune disease so it’s kind of nice to be like OK, I can feel comfortable going over to her place and not putting her at risk. It feels good,” he said.
The two said they had heard about the possible negative side effects of the second dose, but they’re ready to ride it out.
“I’ve got chicken soup at the house waiting for us but we’re prepared,” he said.
He says she’s thankful for all the help they received at the clinic.
“I’m very grateful for everyone working here. They took great care of us. This has been a fun experience. Everyone is so fun. So sweet,” she said.
Cort says they’ll continue to help in Virginia communities but stresses how important it is to get the second dose.
“It’s really important people do come and it’s important we continue to be vigilant to wear your mask and continue to do what we need to do because there’s so many people that haven’t been vaccinated,” he said.