Richmond-Henrico leaders call on adolescents to get vaccinated as the group makes up most new COVID-19 cases


HENRICO COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – Richmond-Henrico health district leaders are focusing on getting more than 26,000 12 to 15-year-olds in the region vaccinated since adolescents make up a majority of the new COVID-19 cases.

Hermitage High Schooler Jordan Gardner is just one of thousands of teens the health district is calling on to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

“Just to protect my family, my peers, my friends, just to protect the community. Protect myself,” Gardner told 8News Wednesday. “Look, if I’m not here, then who is going to look after the future generation and the current generation?”

He still wants to be safe, after his dad Dwayne Gardner says they had family members diagnosed with the virus.

“They were blessed to be able to overcome it, but I don’t think it would have happened if they had gotten vaccinated first,” Gardner said.

Jackson Baynard, Henrico County Chief of Emergency Management and Workplace Safety, said the health district has enough Pfizer vaccines to get the 26,000 adolescents in the region vaccinated.

“It’s not a vaccine supply issue anymore. It’s become more of a demand issue about who wants to get the vaccine,” he said.

Baynard said there’s no longer demand for vaccines at mass vaccination sites like the Richmond Raceway. The last day vaccines will be distributed at the raceway will be May 27.

Health district and county officials like Baynard are calling on parents to protect their kids.

“We have to make choices as parents, and they’re tough choices,” Baynard said. “But we need to make the right choices to hopefully stop the spread of this COVID virus.”

Amy Popovich with the Richmond-Henrico health district said in a press briefing Tuesday that kids tend to have milder cases of COVID-19, but can still carry the disease and spread it to other folks.

The Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices noted that there were 127 COVID-related deaths among adolescents across the United States from January to April 2021.

To get vaccinated, adolescents need to be with someone 18 or older, have consent from a parent or guardian, their name and date of birth to get vaccinated.

Since vaccine operations are shutting down at the raceway on May 27, if you get your first dose there, Baynard said there’s a table there where you can get help getting a second dose appointment scheduled at a different location.

He points out that adolescents have several options of locations to get their second doses including pediatrician offices, urgent care centers and Richmond-Henrico health district clinics.

The health district will hold another walk-up vaccination event at the raceway focusing on 12 to 15-year-olds again Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then a couple more times again next week.

Richmond-Henrico Health District Walk-up Appointment Opportunities

● Tuesday after school (5/18, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) – George Wythe High School (4314
Crutchfield St., Richmond, VA, 23225)
● Wednesday (5/19, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.) – Richmond International Raceway (600 E
Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA, 23222)
● Wednesday (5/19, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)- George Wythe High School (4314 Crutchfield St.,
Richmond, VA, 23225)
● Thursday after school (5/20, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)- Richmond International Raceway (600
E Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA, 23222)
● Saturday, (5/22, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)- George Wythe High School (4314 Crutchfield St.,
Richmond, VA, 23225)

To see a full list of appointment opportunities or to schedule an appointment, visit or call (804) 205-3501.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

StormTracker 8

Trending Stories

More Trending Stories

Local Events