PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Portsmouth and Hampton University paired up to hold a COVID-19 vaccine and testing clinic Saturday.
“We’re here to answer the need,” said clinical research nurse, Shakina Meredith.
The clinic held at the church was open to those over the age of 16 with plans to administer up to 2,000 free first and second doses.
Walk ins were also welcome.
People lined up outside as they waited to get their Pfizer shots provided by the Hague Pharmacy.
Latosha Burch with St. Mark Baptist Church says they hosted their first clinic in March after their pastor met with other local leaders about getting involved.
“They saw a need for people who are underserved, no insurance, people not being served in Portsmouth and the surrounding communities,” explained Burch.
Just outside the vaccination clinic parked HU’s new mobile clinic, which normally helps with vaccinations but helped out with COVID-19 testings this time instead.
Technical consultant for COVID 19 HU lab, Dr. Luisel Ricks-Santi says getting tested is still very important.
“We’ve been hearing about these genetic variants that are out there and so what we don’t know is whether these vaccinations are good enough for combating these variants so it’s still very important to test and there are still very few people who are getting covid after vaccination,” stated Santi.
Dr. Ricks- Santi says their mobile clinic schedule is filling up fast as they work to target rural communities where there are no nearby vaccine clinics. For those who still have concerns about the shot–Burch says, take the time to educate yourself with information from medical professionals.
“It’s okay to be nervous and scared, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Burch.