NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — People who emerged from the expanded COVID-19 vaccination clinic Tuesday at Military Circle Mall said the expanded schedule has made access to the shot easier, and the process was quick and painless.
That’s why they can’t understand why so many people have yet to get their first shot.
By 3 p.m. the clinic had administered more than 250 shots. The Virginia Department of Health site has a supply from all three vaccine providers: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
“It was quick. We walked right in, sat down, got the shot. I didn’t feel it, and we were done,” said Eric Miller of Chesapeake. He and his wife got their Pfizer booster shots.
The extended clinic has geared up for 1,000 shots a day, though it won’t approach that — at least, not yet.
Sylvester Sykes liked the simplicity of the process.
“It was awesome, in and out. Only took about 15 minutes, you sit down and that’s it,” said Sykes, a Norfolk resident.
Tuesday was the first weekday with the new schedule of five days a week, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Evelyn Hargrove of Virginia Beach is a Moderna patient. She brought her husband to get his Pfizer booster while she waits for Moderna to get a booster approved.
“I’d like to get it before Christmas. It would be nice — that way if I want to visit my daughter, I can,” she said.
Miller and Sykes were puzzled, and a little frustrated, with people who haven’t yet begun to get vaccinated.
“I’d rather get the shot than end up in the hospital and wish I’d gotten it,” Sykes said. “Your family’s life depends on it. If you don’t care anything about yourself, care about your family.”
“[People who refuse to get vaccinated] need to quit listening to social media. The stuff that’s being put out, it’s propaganda. That’s all it is. It’s not doing anything but hurting the community, especially the Black community. People are dying with this stuff,” Miller said.
The state department of health hopes that expanded access will get more people vaccinated.
“We know in the Norfolk and Hampton Roads community there are still many people that have not gotten their first vaccination,” said Dr. Parham Jaberi, chief deputy commissioner for VDH.
The department of health says it will be focusing on outreach to young people 12 and above as well as younger adults in their 20s and 30s.