RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – The Richmond-Henrico Health Districts announced up to 7,500 people in Phase 1c will receive an email to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment Wednesday evening.
8News learned that Richmond and Henrico residents under Phase 1c already received invitations to schedule vaccination appointments on Tuesday.
Many of those people were able to schedule their appointments at the community vaccination center at Virginia State University in Chesterfield.
Richmond-Henrico Health Districts Public Information Officer Cat Long told 8News the people who received a vaccination appointment invitation early on Tuesday in Richmond or Henrico may have been called if their zip code is shared with Chesterfield, if their place of employment is in close proximity to the CVC or if they have underlying health conditions.
She adds CVC sites like the one at VSU have the capacity to vaccinate large numbers of people. Long said some of those sites have moved through vaccinations quickly, but Richmond-Henrico mass vaccination sites like the one at Richmond Raceway just haven’t been able to open up to Phase 1c as quickly because of the number of vaccinations they have.
Wednesday, the health district vaccinated 100 to 300 people at their second “community hub” vaccination event location at St. James Baptist Church in Varina. The health district has recently worked in partnership with faith-based organizations like St. James Baptist to ensure those with limited access to vaccines or in underserved communities have the ability to get one.
St. James Baptist Church Pastor Kevin Sykes said he allowed his church to be a community hub for vaccinations so that people can get a vaccine without having to travel to a larger vaccination site.
“Sometimes it’s hard for them to get to some of the other areas. So, I felt like this was a key place for them to have an opportunity to get those vaccinations,” Pastor Sykes said.
Senator Siobhan Dunnavant volunteered at the event after she says her bill passed, making it possible for community organizations like St. James Baptist Church to be vaccination sites and for all healthcare workers to be able to volunteer, making training more streamlined.
“As Virginia gets more and more vaccines, we can get them in the arms that week because we have a robust, trained, ready, willing workforce,” Senator Dunnavant said.
Long said just because the health district is now registering people in Phase 1c does not mean they are done vaccinating those in Phase 1b. They are continuing to register and vaccinate people in that category.
She said they are also expected to enter Phase 2 soon after.
The health district plans to continue rotating to different parts of the city and county to hold “community hub” vaccination events at various locations for six weeks each to help vaccinate those in underserved communities.