Richmond and Henrico health districts host first COVID-19 vaccination event at Virginia Union University


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The Richmond and Henrico health districts hosted the first vaccination event at Virginia Union University today.

The health districts recently announced Virginia Union University as Richmond’s northside vaccination site. The university partnered with the Virginia Department of Health to organize the clinic.

150 residents had appointments to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. Anyone 16 years old or older also had the opportunity to walk in and get their vaccine until 3p.m. this afternoon.

Everyone that attended, received the Pfizer vaccine.

Earlier this week, the Richmond and Henrico health districts announced plans to vaccinate children ages 12-15 as soon as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives Pfizer approval.

Brothers 17-year-old James Okpoti and 16-year-old Ethan Tlusty attended the event today and received their first doses.

“Soon when we’re all vaccinated, we don’t have to wear masks,” said Okpoti.

“I can’t wait until we’re all getting back together for big family gatherings too,” said Tlusty.

With the closing of the vaccination site at the Arthur Ashe Center, Pod Manager Virginia Slattum told 8News, these smaller trusted community hubs reach a new population of people.

“Arthur Ashe did a really good job of reaching people who were part of a job that would let them be able to come get their vaccine, allow time off. These events were good for people who had access to internet. This type of model works extraordinary well for people who may not have internet access,” said Slattum.

Richmond resident Jenny Gill believes it’s helpful to those who are not mobile.

“I think it’s helpful to make it more accessible to people who can’t drive or don’t have a ride,” said Gill.

Workers are hoping to continue outreach efforts to get the word out about future walk-in vaccination events.

Virginia Union University plans to announce another date specifically for faculty and staff to get vaccinated. There is another walk-up event planned at the university on Friday May 14 and Friday May 28.

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