PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University is gearing up to welcome thousands to its Multi-Purpose Center for COVID-19 vaccines.
The community vaccination center, or CVC, will vaccinate residents only in the Chesterfield and Crater Health Districts starting Wednesday in an effort to ensure vaccine equity.
About 150 workers filed into the Multi-Purpose Center Tuesday to get acquainted with the site, where they will help administer vaccine to residents in Phase 1b and in the coming weeks, Phase 1c too.
The site will start by giving out 3,000 Pfizer doses per day, but has the capacity to eventually increase to 6,000 doses per day.
“These community vaccination centers will be another outlet for us to get vaccine into the community as quickly as possible,” said Erin Sutton, chief deputy state coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
CVCs are different than other mass vaccination events, such as at Richmond Raceway, because they are federally funded and operated, State Vaccine Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said in a telebriefing March 12.
However, the centers will function in the same way as the other events, working off of the state’s pre-registration list.
Alaysia Black Hackett, deputy chief diversity officer with the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion said organizing these CVCs was a plan before a COVID vaccine was even available. She explained why the state chose VSU as one of the commonwealth’s four community vaccination centers.
“We knew that, based on trends and analysis and history, that our most vulnerable communities would need an extra boost to ensure equitable distribution of the COVID vaccination,” said Black Hackett.
The CVC will operate Monday through Saturday and will vaccinate residents in the Chesterfield Health District, which includes the entire county, Colonial Heights and Powhatan County, and the Crater Health District, which includes the cities of Emporia, Hopewell and Petersburg and the counties of Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Surry and Sussex.
The majority of the Crater Health District currently ranks at the bottom of the statewide list for the number of residents vaccinated.
“What we’re hoping is that we’re able to reach the masses as well and push a lot of our vulnerable population to the site that have not been able to be served with the current events that we’re having across the Crater District,” said Virginia Department of Health Acting Chief Operating Officer Jay Baxter.
To ensure residents in the Chesterfield and Crater Health Districts are the people getting vaccinated at this center, they will be asked to present a photo ID or other type of identification, such as a confirmation email or text message, when arriving for their scheduled appointment.
The state is opening three other CVCs in Danville, Portsmouth and Prince William County.
No walk-ins will be accepted. All appointments will be scheduled from the state’s pre-registration list. To check if you are on that list or to sign up, click here.