HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)–Four new COVID-19 vaccination hubs are welcoming residents in the Richmond and Henrico health districts this week.
Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccine coordinator, said these hubs will serve as places for people to get their COVID vaccine booster shots. He added that when official guidance from the FDA and CDC comes for booster shots, local health departments will already be prepared.
Avula anticipates booster shots will be advised eight months after the second dose and the guidance should come by Sept. 20.
With cases still on the rise and testing demand filling urgent care centers with patients, Avula said the hubs couldn’t have opened at a better time.
“When we were at our lowest point statewide in the middle of June, we were seeing about 150 cases per day. Here now, in the state of Virginia, we’re seeing over 2,500 cases per day,” he said.
Dr. Melissa Viray, with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, said locally 51% of Richmonders have at least one dose while 63% of the Henrico population have first doses.
Unvaccinated people remain the most vulnerable population.
“I would like to see more vaccinations in our 18 to 29-year-olds,” she said.
Viray encouraged people who are feeling sick to stay home from work or school and not to hesitate to get vaccinated.
“We are very concerned because folks are ignoring symptoms that they’re actually leading to outbreaks and more transmission,” she said.
Dr. Avula said that although there’s an increased demand for testing, at-home tests and weekly testing at local health departments are available.
“The demand for testing is occurring because we’re seeing a lot more disease in our community,” he said.
The hubs are open at the following locations:
● Tuesdays, 3 to 6 p.m. beginning Sept. 7 at Second Baptist Church
● Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. at Henrico Recreation Center
● Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m. at RHHD Downtown Location
● Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon at RHHD Henrico West Location